ABSTRACT: Chlamydiaceae are Gram-negative obligate intracellular bacteria. They are responsible for a broad range of diseases in animals and humans. In pigs, Chlamydia suis, Chlamydia abortus, Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia psittaci have been isolated. Chlamydiaceae infections in pigs are associated with different pathologies such as conjunctivitis, pneumonia, pericarditis, polyarthritis, polyserositis, pseudo-membranous or necrotizing enteritis, periparturient dysgalactiae syndrome, vaginal discharge, return to oestrus, abortion, mummification, delivery of weak piglets, increased perinatal and neonatal mortality and inferior semen quality, orchitis, epididymitis and urethritis in boars. However, Chlamydiaceae are still considered as non-important pathogens because reports of porcine chlamydiosis are rare. Furthermore, Chlamydiaceae infections are often unnoticed because tests for Chlamydiaceae are not routinely performed in all veterinary diagnostic laboratories and Chlamydiaceae are often found in association with other pathogens, which are sometimes more easily to detect. However, recent studies have demonstrated that Chlamydiaceae infections in breeding sows, boars and piglets occur more often than thought and are economically important. This paper presents an overview on: the taxonomy of Chlamydiaceae occurring in pigs, diagnostic considerations, epidemiology and pathology of infections with Chlamydiaceae in pigs, public health significance and finally on prevention and treatment of Chlamydiaceae infections in pigs.
Project description:Recent evidence of the occurrence of atypical Chlamydiaceae strains in pigeons, different from the established Chlamydiaceae, requires the development of a specific and rapid detection tool to investigate their prevalence and significance. Here is described a new real-time PCR assay that allows specific detection of atypical Chlamydiaceae from pigeons. The assay has been used to assess the dissemination of these strains in field samples collected from Parisian pigeon populations in 2009. The results suggest a limited dissemination compared to the usually higher prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci that is the main species associated with avian chlamydiosis.
Project description:Trachoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Commercial assays do not discriminate among all Chlamydiaceae species that might be involved in trachoma. We investigated whether a commercial Micro-ArrayTube could discriminate Chlamydiaceae species in DNA extracted directly from conjunctival samples from 101 trachoma patients in Nepal. To evaluate organism viability, we extracted RNA, reverse transcribed it, and subjected it to quantitative real-time PCR. We found that 71 (70.3%) villagers were infected. ArrayTube sensitivity was 91.7% and specificity was 100% compared with that of real-time PCR. Concordance between genotypes detected by microarray and ompA genotyping was 100%. Species distribution included 54 (76%) single infections with Chlamydia trachomatis, C. psittaci, C. suis, or C. pecorum, and 17 (24%) mixed infections that includied C. pneumoniae. Ocular infections were caused by 5 Chlamydiaceae species. Additional studies of trachoma pathogenesis involving Chlamydiaceae species other than C. trachomatis and their zoonotic origins are needed.
Project description:Chlamydial infections in pigs are associated with respiratory disease, diarrhea, conjunctivitis and other pathologies. The aim of this study was to define the prevalence of Chlamydiaceae in Swiss fattening pigs by applying sensitive and specific detection methods and to correlate prior antibiotic treatment and farm related factors with differences in prevalence. Conjunctival and fecal swabs were collected from 636 pigs in 29 Swiss fattening pig farms with and without antibiotic treatment, at the beginning and the end of the fattening period. The swabs were screened by real-time PCR for Chlamydiaceae. For the chlamydial detection and species-identification, a DNA-microarray analysis was performed. All farms were positive for Chlamydiaceae with 94.3 and 92.0% prevalence in fecal swabs as well as 45.9 and 32.6% in conjunctival swabs at the first and second time points, respectively. Antibiotic treatment could not clear the infection on herd level. Potential contact with wild boars was a significant risk factor, while hygiene criteria did not influence chlamydial prevalence. A correlation of chlamydial positivity to diarrhea, but not to conjunctivitis was evident. Chlamydia suis was the predominant species. Mixed infections with C. suis and C. pecorum were common, with a substantial increase in C. pecorum positivity at the end of the fattening period, and this finding was associated with ruminant contact. C. abortus was detected in one conjunctival swab. In this study, C. suis inhabited the intestinal tract of nearly all examined pigs, implying a long-term infection. C. pecorum was also common and might be transmitted to pigs by ruminants.
Project description:Chlamydiaceae are obligate intracellular bacteria that cause a diversity of severe infections among humans and livestock on a global scale. Identification of new species since 1989 and emergence of zoonotic infections, including abortion in women, underscore the need for genome sequencing of multiple strains of each species to advance our knowledge of evolutionary dynamics across Chlamydiaceae. Here, we genome sequenced isolates from avian, lower mammalian and human hosts. Based on core gene phylogeny, five isolates previously classified as Chlamydia abortus were identified as members of Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia pecorum. Chlamydia abortus is the most recently emerged species and is a highly monomorphic group that lacks the conserved virulence-associated plasmid. Low-level recombination and evidence for adaptation to the placenta echo evolutionary processes seen in recently emerged, highly virulent niche-restricted pathogens, such as Bacillus anthracis. In contrast, gene flow occurred within C. psittaci and other Chlamydiaceae species. The C. psittaci strain RTH, isolated from a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), is an outlying strain with admixture of C. abortus, C. psittaci, and its own population markers. An average nucleotide identity of less than 94% compared with other Chlamydiaceae species suggests that RTH belongs to a new species intermediary between C. psittaci and C. abortus. Hawks, as scavengers and predators, have extensive opportunities to acquire multiple species in their intestinal tract. This could facilitate transformation and homologous recombination with the potential for new species emergence. Our findings indicate that incubator hosts such as birds-of-prey likely promote Chlamydiaceae evolution resulting in novel pathogenic lineages.
Project description:Birds are the primary hosts of Chlamydia psittaci, a bacterium that can cause avian chlamydiosis in birds and psittacosis in humans. Wild seabirds are frequently admitted to wildlife rescue centers (WRC) at European Atlantic coasts, for example, in connection with oil spills. To investigate the extent of chlamydial shedding by these birds and the resulting risk for animals in care and the medical staff, seabirds from a French WRC were sampled from May 2011 to January 2014. By use of a quantitative PCR (qPCR), 195 seabirds belonging to 4 orders, 5 families and 13 species were examined, of which 18.5% proved to be Chlamydiaceae positive. The highest prevalence of shedders was found in northern gannets (Morus bassanus) (41%), followed by European herring gulls (Larus argentatus) (14%) and common murres (Uria aalge) (7%). Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of qPCR-positive northern gannet samples revealed two variants of a strain closely related to C. psittaci. In European herring gulls and in one common murre, strains showing high sequence similarity to the atypical Chlamydiaceae-like C122 previously found in gulls were detected. Our study shows that seabirds from the northeastern Atlantic Ocean carry several chlamydial organisms, including C. psittaci-related strains. The staff in WRCs should take protective measures, particularly in the case of mass admissions of seabirds.
Project description:Bacteria of the family Chlamydiaceae are globally disseminated and able to infect many bird species. So far, 11 species of Chlamydia have been detected in wild birds, and several studies found chlamydial strains classified as genetically intermediate between Chlamydia (C.) psittaci and C.abortus. Recently, a group of these intermediate strains was shown to form a separate species, i.e., C.buteonis. In the present study, 1128 samples from 341 raptors of 16 bird species and 253 corvids representing six species were examined using a stepwise diagnostic approach. Chlamydiaceae DNA was detected in 23.7% of the corvids and 5.9% of the raptors. In corvids, the most frequently detected Chlamydia species was C.psittaci of outer membrane protein A (ompA) genotype 1V, which is known to have a host preference for corvids. The most frequently detected ompA genotype in raptors was M56. Furthermore, one of the raptors harbored C.psittaci 1V, and two others carried genotype A. C.buteonis was not detected in the bird population investigated, so it remains unknown whether this species occurs in Switzerland. The infection rate of Chlamydiaceae in corvids was high compared to rates reported in other wild bird species, but neither Chlamydiaceae-positive corvids nor raptors showed overt signs of disease. Since the Chlamydiaceae of both, raptors and crows were identified as C.psittaci and all C.psittaci genotypes are considered to be zoonotic, it can be suggested that raptors and crows pose a potential hazard to the health of their handlers.
Project description:The family of Chlamydiaceae contains a group of obligate intracellular bacteria that can infect a wide range of hosts. The evolutionary trend of members in this family is a hot topic, which benefits our understanding of the cross-infection of these pathogens. In this study, 14 whole genomes of 12 Chlamydia species were used to investigate the nucleotide, codon, and amino acid usage bias by synonymous codon usage value and information entropy method. The results showed that all the studied Chlamydia spp. had A/T rich genes with over-represented A or T at the third positions and G or C under-represented at these positions, suggesting that nucleotide usages influenced synonymous codon usages. The overall codon usage trend from synonymous codon usage variations divides the Chlamydia spp. into four separate clusters, while amino acid usage divides the Chlamydia spp. into two clusters with some exceptions, which reflected the genetic diversity of the Chlamydiaceae family members. The overall codon usage pattern represented by the effective number of codons (ENC) was significantly positively correlated to gene GC3 content. A negative correlation exists between ENC and the codon adaptation index for some Chlamydia species. These results suggested that mutation pressure caused by nucleotide composition constraint played an important role in shaping synonymous codon usage patterns. Furthermore, codon usage of T3ss and Pmps gene families adapted to that of the corresponding genome. Taken together, analyses help our understanding of evolutionary interactions between nucleotide, synonymous codon, and amino acid usages in genes of Chlamydiaceae family members.
Project description:Chlamydia spp. are a group of obligate intracellular pathogens causing a number of diseases in animals and humans. Avian chlamydiosis (AC), caused by Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) as well as new emerging C. avium, C. gallinacea and C. ibidis, have been described in nearly 500 avian species worldwidely. The Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) is a world endangered avian species with limited population and vulnerable for various infections. To get a better understanding of the prevalence of Chlamydia spp. in the endangered Crested Ibis, faecal samples were collected and analysed. The results confirmed that 20.20% (20/99) of the faecal samples were positive for Chlamydiaceae and were identified as C. ibidis with co-existence of C. psittaci in one of the 20 positive samples. In addition, ompA sequence of C. psittaci obtained in this study was classified into the provisional genotype Matt116, while that of C. ibidis showed high genetic diversity, sharing only 77% identity with C. ibidis reference strain 10-1398/6. We report for the first time the presence of C. ibidis and C. psittaci in the Crested Ibis, which may indicate a potential threat to the endangered birds and should be aware of the future protection practice.
Project description:Chlamydiae are obligately intracellular pathogens which cause infections associated with a broad range of diseases in both livestock and humans. In addition, a large proportion of animals may become persistently infected asymptomatic carriers and serve as reservoirs for other animals which also shed these potential zoonotic pathogens. Reducing the chlamydial load of animals is therefore of major importance, and since large-scale antibiotic treatment is neither desired nor feasible, alternative means of prevention are needed. Here we performed a study comparing the efficacy of a probiotic strain of Enterococcus faecium on the reduction of both the rate of natural infection and the shedding of chlamydiae in swine. The presence of Chlamydiaceae was detected by species-specific PCR of fecal samples of sows taken at three times prior to the birth of piglets. Piglets delivered from chlamydia-positive sows in either the control or the probiotic group were also examined for the frequency of chlamydiae at various ages. Eighty-five percent of the piglets from the control group were found to be chlamydia positive, whereas chlamydiae were found in only 60% of piglets from the probiotic group, results confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistology, which showed higher rates of infection in the control group. In addition to the reduced frequency of chlamydia-positive piglets in the probiotic group, the time of appearance of positive samples was delayed. To our knowledge, these data show for the first time that a probiotic strain of E. faecium can reduce the rate of carryover infections of piglets by obligate intracellular pathogens.
Project description:In Switzerland, domestic turkey meat is a niche product. Turkeys are fattened on mixed family-based farms scattered across the country, with most providing access to an uncovered outdoor pasture for the birds. Swiss fattening turkeys may therefore get infected with Chlamydiaceae via wild birds or their faeces, potentially shedding these bacteria at a later stage. The aim of the present study was to acquire baseline data about the shedding of Chlamydiaceae in clinically unremarkable Swiss fattening turkeys at slaughter, potentially exposing slaughterhouse workers to infection. In this large-scale study, 1008 cloacal swabs of Swiss turkeys out of 53 flocks from 28 different grow-out farms with uncovered outdoor pasture were collected over the course of 14 months and examined for the occurrence of Chlamydiaceae by a family-specific 23S-rRNA real-time PCR. Positive samples were further analyzed by Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci)-specific real-time PCR and the Arraymate DNA Microarray for species identification. All samples were negative for C. psittaci, but seven swabs out of one flock were tested positive for Chlamydia gallinacea (0.7%). Although turkeys with access to pasture may have contact with Chlamydiaceae-harbouring wild birds or their faeces, the infection rate in Swiss turkeys was shown to be low.