Chlamydiosis

Chlamydiosis is a contagious disease with worldwide distribution and a variety of disease manifestations in different species.

Chlamydial abortion (sheep)

Also known as Enzootic abortion of ewes

Description

Enzootic abortion of ewes, due to Chlamydia abortus has never occurred in Australia.  Chlamydial infection (presumably Chlamydia pecorum) has been reported rarely in NSW in association with placentitis and abortion; however, Chlamydia pecorum is not regarded as a significant cause of abortion. Chlamydia abortus causes late term abortions or stillbirths, or birth of weak lambs.  Post mortem findings include a chronic placentitis with thickening of the chorioallantois and cotyledons may be matted by dirty-red exudate.  The foetus is usually well preserved but may have few gross lesions.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on post mortem and histopathology examinations of the foetus and placenta, serology and PCR detection of Chlamydia.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Chlamydia CFT

Clotted blood (red top tube)

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Chlamydophila real-time PCR3

Fresh tissue or blood

As required

3-7 days

Chlamydophila speciation PCR2

From real-time PCR

As required

3-7 days

Histopathology

Fixed tissues

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Post mortem

Aborted foetus and placenta

Monday – Friday

Same day

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 Positive Chlamydophila real-time PCR requires further speciation between C. abortus and C. pecorum
3 This test is not NATA accredited.

Specimen requirements

Aborted foetus

  • Whole foetus and placenta
    • Submit chilled in insulated container

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • Blood (including at least 2 ml of serum) from aborting animals, taken in the acute and convalescent stages of the disease (3 to 4 weeks apart) and from 5-10 in-contact animals
    • Collected into a plain red top tube
    • Submit chilled
    • Blood samples collected in vacutainer containing separation gel are not suitable for complement fixation test

Fixed tissue

  • Placenta, liver, adrenal gland, lung, kidney, brain, spleen and other tissues as indicated by gross examination collected from post mortem
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin:tissue

Fresh tissue

  • Placenta, liver, adrenal gland, lung, kidney, brain, spleen, stomach contents collected from post mortem
    • Submit chilled

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Chlamydial abortion (horse)

Description

Studies suggest that horses can be hosts of Chlamydia psittaci, and infections can cause respiratory disease and foetal abortion in horses. Chlamydia psittaci has been detected in several equine abortions in 2015 and 2016, which provides strong support for its role as the etiological agent, and should be considered in these investigations.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical findings and PCR detection of Chlamydia.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Chlamydia psittaci PCR (Real-time PCR)

Fresh tissue or swabs

As required

3-7 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Fresh tissue

  • Foetal liver, lung and spleen collected from post mortem
    • Submit chilled

Swabs

  • Two swabs collected aseptically are preferred
    • Swab 1: multiples sites across the placenta
    • Swab 2: multiple sites across the foetus
    • Submit swabs chilled

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Chlamydial arthritis (sheep, cattle)

Description

Chlamydial polyarthritis of lambs and calves is caused by Chlamydia pecorum. In New South Wales Chlamydial arthritis occurs relatively commonly in lambs.  It typically affects weaned lambs up to about six months of age.  Chlamydial polyarthritis of calves is rare. Affected animals are usually febrile and walk with a stiff, proppy gait. Affected joints are usually, but not always, swollen.  Affected joints usually contain increased synovial fluid and fibrin. Concurrent conjunctivitis may be present in infected sheep.  Chronically infected joints may show hyperplasia of synovial villi and fibrous thickening.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical findings, post mortem and histopathology examinations, serology and PCR detection of Chlamydia.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Chlamydia CFT

Whole blood (red top tube)

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Chlamydophila real-time PCR3

Fresh tissue or swabs

As required

3-7 days

Chlamydophila speciation PCR2

From real-time PCR

As required

3-7 days

Histopathology

Fixed tissue

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Post mortem

Fixed tissue

Monday – Friday

Same day

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 Positive Chlamydophila real-time PCR requires further speciation between C. abortus and C. pecorum
3 This test is not NATA accredited.

Specimen requirements

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • Blood (including at least 2 ml of serum) from identified animals, taken in the acute and convalescent stages of the disease (3 to 4 weeks apart) and from 5-10 in-contact animals
    • Collected in a plain red top tube
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Whole affected joint(s) and other tissues as indicated by gross examination collected from post mortem
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin:tissue

Fresh tissue

  • Whole affected joint
    • Submit chilled

Swab

  • Swab collected aseptically from affected joints
    • Submit chilled

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Sporadic bovine encephalopathy (cattle)

Description

Sporadic bovine encephalomyelitis, caused by Chlamydia pecorum infection, occurs mainly in young cattle less than a year old.  Affected animals develop fever before progressing to clinical signs of depression, salivation, diarrhoea, anorexia, weight loss, incoordination, staggering, with recumbency and opisthotonus at the terminal stage.

The clinical presentation is variable and signs include fever, dullness, rapid loss of condition, general stiffness or lameness, occasional weakness or ataxia.  Some animals progress to recumbency and death.  Neurological signs may not be obvious.  There is usually no evidence of arthritis.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical findings, post mortem and histopathology examinations, serology and PCR detection of Chlamydia.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Chlamydia CFT

Whole blood (red top tube)

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Chlamydophila real-time PCR3

Fresh tissue or swabs

As required

3-7 days

Chlamydophila speciation PCR2

From real-time PCR

As required

3-7 days

Histopathology

Fixed tissue

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Post mortem

Fixed tissue

Monday – Friday

Same day

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 Positive Chlamydophila real-time PCR requires further speciation between C. abortus and C. pecorum
3 This test is not NATA accredited

Specimen requirements

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • Red top (serum) collected from identified animals, taken in the acute and convalescent stages of the disease (3 to 4 weeks apart) and from 5-10 in-contact animals.
    • Collected in a plain red top tube
    • Submit chilled

Fresh tissue

  • Brain, liver, spleen and other organ with evidence of serositis collected from post mortem
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Brain, liver, spleen, kidney and other organs with evidence of serositis collected from post mortem
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin:tissue

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Avian chlamydiosis

Description

Avian chlamydiosis is caused by Chlamydia psittaci, occurs worldwide and has been identified in over 35 avian species, particularly caged birds (commonly psittacines). Turkeys, ducks and pigeons can also be affected. Disease can by subclinical or acute, subacute or chronic and present with respiratory, digestive or systemic clinical signs.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical findings, post mortem and histopathology examinations, serology and PCR detection of Chlamydia.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Chlamydia psittaci PCR (Real-time PCR)

Fresh tissue or swab

As required

3-7 days

Histopathology

Fixed tissues

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Post mortem

Whole bird

Monday – Friday

Same day

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Fresh tissue

  • Brain, liver, spleen and other organ with evidence of serositis collected from post mortem
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Liver, lung, air sacs, heart and other organs with evidence of serositis collected from post mortem
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin:tissue

Swab

  • Conjunctival, choanal, cloacal swabs
    • Collected aseptically
    • Submit chilled