Chlamydia psittaci

Chlamydia psittaci

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Chlamydia psittaci

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Psittacosis, Ornithosis, Parrot fever

CHARACTERISTICS: Gram negative bacilli, non-motile, obligate intracellular bacteria

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: An acute generalized disease with variable clinical presentations; fever, headache, myalgia, chills and upper or lower respiratory tract disease; extensive pneumonia demonstrable by X-ray; lethargy, anorexia, encephalitis; may be severe with high case fatality rates in older persons

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Worldwide; often associated with sick or healthy-looking pet birds; occur in individual households, pet shops, aviaries and pigeon lofts; human cases are sporadic and often not recognized; occupationally acquired in turkey and duck farms

HOST RANGE: Humans, other animals; birds

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Not known

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Inhalation of the agent from desiccated droppings and secretions of infected birds; direct contact with infected birds; bite from an infected bird

INCUBATION PERIOD: From 1 to 4 weeks, commonly 10 days

COMMUNICABILITY: Transmission from person to person is rare and can occur with paroxysmal coughing during the acute illness; infected birds can shed the agent intermittently and sometimes continuously for weeks or months

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Parakeets, parrots, pigeons, turkeys, ducks, and other birds; apparently healthy birds can be carriers and occasionally shed the infectious agent, particularly when subjected to the stresses of crowding and shipping

ZOONOSIS: Yes - birds; infections have occurred through contact with infected domestic mammals, but this is relatively uncommon

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Resistant to penicillin; susceptible to tetracyclines and erythromycin

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to disinfectants - 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Susceptible to moist heat (121°C for at least 15 min) and dry heat (160-170°C for at least 1 hour)

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Infected fluid from eggs - 52 hours; bird droppings - a few days; bird feed - 2 months; glass - 15 days; straw - 20 days

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for pneumonic disease (history of exposure to birds will increase suspicion) and significant increase in specific antibodies

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Tetracycline 1-2 g/day for 10 days

IMMUNIZATION: None

PROPHYLAXIS: Treat sick birds with tetracycline-treated feed

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Fifth most commonly reported infection with highest case fatality rate of all groups of infectious agents; 116 reported cases up to 1976 with 10 deaths; additional cases have been reported since then (Miller, CD et al., 1987)

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Tissues, feces, nasal secretions and blood of infected birds; blood, sputum, and tissues of infected humans

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Exposure to infectious aerosols and droplets created during the handling, care, or necropsy of infected birds and the handling of infected tissues

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Aerosols of infected feces and nasal secretion on the features and external surfaces of the bird (risk can be reduced by wetting the feathers with a detergent-disinfectant prior to necropsy)

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 practices and containment for activities involving the necropsy of infected birds and the diagnostic examination of infected tissues; Biosafety level 3 for activities with infectious materials and cultures with high potential for aerosols or large production quantities or concentrations

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves when direct contact with infectious materials is unavoidable; gown and gloves for work in biosafety cabinet; gloves for the necropsy of birds and mice, and the opening of inoculated eggs

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Animal Biosafety level 2 practices and facilities and respiratory protection for personnel working with caged birds naturally or experimentally infected

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towel and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite, starting at perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontamination before disposal; incineration, steam sterilization

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: November 1999

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Health Canada, 2001

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