Molecular Detection by PCR<<Return to Laboratory
Molecular detection of Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly Chlamydia psittaci) by PCR.
- Respiratory psittacosis
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), nasopharygeal aspirate (NPA), or throat swab. Sputum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples may also be tested but are not ideal. Please note that pure culture specimens WILL NOT be accepted, as these specimens are categorized and handled as CL3 organisms. Serum and dry swabs will also not be accepted for testing; any swabs sent must be supplied in appropriate storage medium. At least 0.5 mL of fluid sample is required for testing, and it is preferable if all samples are supplied in screw-capped tubes made of freeze-thaw and shatter-resistant plastic.
Please follow standard aseptic sampling methods for collecting specimens and ensure any tissue samples/swabs are in appropriate storage medium.
No further processing at the sending lab is required once specimens are collected according to the above instructions. It is preferable that all specimens be frozen after collection. If that’s not possible, then store it at refrigeration temperature (2 – 8°C). Ensure that specimens are held at the appropriate temperature when shipped to the NML (e.g. frozen specimens shipped with dry ice, refrigerated specimens with cold packs).
Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.
For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.
Patient must have had contact with a bird and present with C. psittaci or “psittacosis” symptoms. Samples from MALT lymphoma patients will also be accepted.
Completed Special Bacteriology requisition form detailing all patient information and relevant clinical information. If possible, attach lab results that have already been done at local or provincial laboratories.
All patient history must be included. Samples without adequate patient history and that fail to meet the testing criteria will be rejected.
DNA from all C. psittaci samples received at the NML for PCR testing is initially extracted using a commercially-available kit. Results are based upon a PCR to detect the 23S rRNA gene of the Chlamydiaceae family as well as a PCR for the C. psittaci 16S rRNA gene. C. psittaci positives are confirmed by sequencing the 23S rRNA gene.
10 calendar days. Please note that during times when large numbers of samples are received or if tests must be repeated the turnaround time may be longer.
- Peeling R. and Brunham R. 1996. Chlamydiae as Pathogens: New Species and New Issues. Emerg. Inf. Dis.; 2(4):307-319.
- Vanrompay D., Ducatelle R., Haesebrouck F. 1995.Chlamydia psittaci infections: A review with emphasis on avian chlamydiosis. Vet. Micro.;45:93-119.