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Prevalence of Chlamydophila psittaci Infections in the Eyes of Cattle, Buffaloes, Sheep and Goats in Contact with a Human Population


K. M. Osman. Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. Tel./Fax: +20233854762; E-mail:


This work is an example of cooperation between veterinary and human medicine being fully complementary and at the same time, indispensable to improve our knowledge on animal chlamydiosis. This study investigated the existence of ocular chlamydiae and determined the prevalence of its presence, chlamydiosis, in asymptomatic and diseased farm animals and adjacent humans. Data were obtained by the omp2 gene family Chlamydiaceae-specific PCR. Two hundred cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats and 44 human specimens were also examined. Conjunctival swabs from both the eyes were collected from all animals and humans using cotton swabs. Samples were tested for chlamydiae by Vero cells tissue culture, chicken embryo, modified Gimenez staining, direct fluorescein-conjugated monoclonal antibody staining (FA), immunoperoxidase, CFT and PCR. The PCR-RFLP revealed that Chlamydophila psittaci demonstrated in the conjunctival samples of cattle (68% asymptomatic and 88% diseased), of buffalo (68% asymptomatic and 72% diseased), of sheep (68% asymptomatic and 80% diseased), of goat (76% asymptomatic and 92% diseased) and of humans (77% asymptomatic and 82% diseased). The Cp. psittaci was the only chlamydiae demonstrated in all of the ocular conjunctival samples, which confirms the prevalence of Cp. psittaci in this population of animals and adjacent humans. Statistically, the animal species factor was calculated and was found to be of no significance. Yet, there appeared to be a significant difference in the percentage of animal that tested positive using the different methods. Detection of Cp. psittaci in most samples confirms the prevalence of Cp. psittaci in this population of animals and adjacent humans.