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Epidemiology of Chlamydophila psittaci in pet birds associated with psittacosis cases in humans

Grant number: 12/25067-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): September 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Pathology
Principal Investigator:Tânia de Freitas Raso
Grantee:Vivian Lindmayer Ferreira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):15/03811-5 - Molecular diagnosis of Chlamydia psittaci infections in animal and human specimens, BE.EP.DR


Nowadays zoonoses comprises the majority of the emerging infectious diseases, which occurrence varies according to biological, environmental and socio-economic and cultural factors. Regarding the cultural factors, the maintenance of companion animals in Brazil is increasing significantly. It is noteworthy that the popularity of wild bird's species is also growing. These animals may have an important role in the spread of pathogens with zoonotic potential, such as Chlamydophila psittaci, the etiological agent of chlamydiosis in birds and psittacosis in humans. The Psittaciformes are the main Order of birds affected by C. psittaci, and is also the main Order kept as pets. In recent years, several studies have shown that clamidiosis is an endemic disease in Brazil, nevertheless, there are few studies assessing the zoonotic potential of this pathogen. In humans, psittacosis typically causes influenza-like symptoms, and can lead to severe pneumonia; nonetheless, due to the difficulties related to laboratory diagnosis and the relative unfamiliarity of the disease by health professionals, its incidence in the country is still unknown. Thus, the present study aims to estimate the occurrence of C. psittaci in patients from the Instituto Emílio Ribas de Infectologia with suspicion of psittacosis and determines the epidemiological link with birds and the risks factors associated. Then, samples of blood from the patients with clinical suspicion of psittacosis will be collected for the investigation of anti-C. psittaci antibodies. Biological samples from every species of bird related to these cases will be collected for survey and molecular characterization of C. psittaci's genome. For epidemiological research and analysis of the risk factors extensive questionnaires, regarding the avian hosts and the humans patients, will be performed. Statistical analysis of these data will be held with the program EPIINFO. The present study will allow a greater understanding of this zoonosis in Brazil and its real impact on human health, it will also provide the basis for establishing more specific prophylactic measures related to birds and humans, reducing future risks and mitigating the possible occurrence of outbreaks.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
FERREIRA, Vivian Lindmayer. Epidemiology of Chlamydia psittaci in pet birds associated with psittacosis cases in humans. 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ/SBD) São Paulo.

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