Psittacosis (Chlamydophila psittaci, Chlamydia psittaci) - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Psittacosis (Chlamydophila psittaci, Chlamydia psittaci)

Infection with Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly known as Chlamydia psittaci) is cause of systemic illness in companion birds (birds kept by humans as pets) and poultry. This illness is often referred to as avian chlamydiosis (also known as psittacosis, ornithosis, and parrot fever) in birds.

C. psittaci infection can be transmitted from infected birds to humans. The disease resulting from C. psittaci infection in humans is called psittacosis (also known as parrot disease, parrot fever, and chlamydiosis). Most infections are typically acquired from exposure to pet psittacine birds.

Infection with C psittaci usually occurs when a person inhales organisms that have been aerosolized from dried feces or respiratory tract secretions of infected birds. Other means of exposure include mouth-to-beak contact and handling infected birds' plumage and tissues.

Psittacosis can result in serious health problems including fatal pneumonia. Diagnosis of psittacosis can be difficult. Antibiotic treatment is recommended.

General information

  • Psittacosis
    CDC Technical information about Psittacosis. Attention: Non-MDH link.


  • Compendium of Measures To Control Chlamydophila psittaci Infection Among Humans (Psittacosis) and Pet Birds (Avian Chlamydiosis), 2006 (PDF: KB/15 pages)
    This compendium provides information about psittacosis and AC to public health officials, physicians, veterinarians, the pet bird industry, and others concerned about controlling these diseases and protecting public health. The recommendations in this compendium provide standardized procedures for controlling AC in birds, a vital step to protecting human health. This document will be reviewed biannually and revised as necessary. National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV). Attention: Non-MDH link.

  • Compendium of Measures To Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2005
    This report provides standardized recommendations for public health officials, veterinarians, animal venue operators, animal exhibitors, visitors to animal venues and exhibits, and others concerned with disease-control and with minimizing risks associated with animals in public settings. The recommendation to wash hands is the single most important prevention step for reducing the risk for disease transmission. CDC. Attention: Non-MDH link.

Updated Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 03:29PM