epidemiology and transmission

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Chlamydia psittaci may be acquired from most birds but psittacines - parrots, parakeets, and budgerigars - are the most frequent source of infection.

The bacterium is present in the nasal secretions, excreta, tissues and feathers of infected birds. Transmission most commonly occurs through the respiratory tract when in an environment previously occupied by an infected bird.

There is no evidence of transmission from eating poultry products.

Person-to-person spread is possible and there is a risk to laboratory workers handling specimens from patients.

Last reviewed 01/2018