Psittacosis is a notifiable disease in birds (except poultry) in the Netherlands. It is caused by Chlamydia psittaci and can be transmitted to humans. In humans psittacosis can lead to pneumonia. To prevent transmission it is important to detect infected birds. In daily veterinary practice rapid Chlamydia tests are used as diagnostic tool. However, these rapid tests are developed to detect Chlamydia trachomatis. Their sensitivity to detect C. psittaci compared to the PCR CVI uses as a reference test is questionable.
In this project a rapid test will be compared to the PCR CVI runs. Besides the test also the sampling method will be investigated. Faecal samples, cloacal swabs and choanae swabs will be compared to determine the best sampling method. This work will be done in close cooperation with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht and specialised bird practitioners. A workshop will be organised to instruct the practitioners how to sample the birds, how to perform the rapid test and how to send in samples to CVI. CVI will perform PCR on the samples. After the testing, data will be analysed and the results will be published in magazines for veterinarians as Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde, but also via official reports to the ministry of Economic Affairs. Both the comparison of the tests as the sampling methods will lead to better source detection and hopefully less human cases.