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Molecular diagnosis of Chlamydia psittaci infections in animal and human specimens

Grant number: 15/03811-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): January 01, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Pathology
Principal researcher:Tânia de Freitas Raso
Grantee:Vivian Lindmayer Ferreira
Supervisor abroad: Christiane Schnee
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:12/25067-8 - Epidemiology of Chlamydophila psittaci in pet birds associated with psittacosis cases in humans, BP.DR


Chlamydiae are Gram-negative, obligatory intracellular bacteria and have a broad host spectrum. These microorganisms infect many mammalian, avian species and wild and domestic animals, as well as human beings. The impact of chlamydial infections on human and animal health places these obligate intracellular microorganisms among the most significant zoonotic bacterial agents. Regarding the species of veterinary interest, Chlamydia psittaci is the most important one due to widespread occurrence and the undisputable zoonotic character of the avian infection. The diseases resulting from C. psittaci infection is called psittacosis or more general chlamydiosis. The zoonotic potential of this pathogen is an important and current challenge for research and practice in human and veterinary medicine in various countries. In Brazil, chlamydiosis is an endemic disease and several national studies concerning C. psittaci epidemiology have been published in literature. Nevertheless, approaches to evaluate and validate chlamydia strain-typing techniques are still a challenge. New techniques offer promise of better diagnostic tests and some of them may prove to be accurate, species-specific and easily applied. Nowadays, scientific knowledge on chlamydial zoonosis is being extended as more sophisticated diagnosis technologies are becoming available, especially through the work of specific research groups, such as the OIE Reference Laboratory for Avian Chlamydiosis team. These researchers have outstanding scientific expertise in elucidating the systematics of chlamydiae and the development of control strategies for chlamydiosis in animals and humans. Some of the recent diagnostic tools developed for the direct identification and genotyping of Chlamydiae in clinical samples include PCR real-time and microarray-based techniques. Thus, considering the lack of information on serotype or genotype of the aetiological agent of avian and human chlamydiosis in Brazil, this project was designed focusing personnel training of innovative diagnosis techniques, which may be applied later in the Laboratório de Ornitopatologia II, FMVZ-USP. It will be an unique opportunity to support further epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies/research of this zoonosis. Furthermore, it will provide a chance for enhancing laboratory networking and information exchange between the distinguished chlamydial research groups involved, namely FMVZ-USP/Brazil and FLI/Germany. (AU)

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