Chlamydia psittaci infection in canaries heavily infested by Dermanyssus gallinae

  • Elena CircellaEmail author
  • N. Pugliese
  • G. Todisco
  • M. A. Cafiero
  • O. A. E. Sparagano
  • A. Camarda


Dermanyssus gallinae is a haematophagous ectoparasite responsible for anemia, weight loss, dermatitis and a decrease in egg production. Dermanyssus gallinae may play a role in the modulation of the host immune system, maybe predisposing the host to some bacterial infections such as chlamydiosis. This is an important zoonosis. Humans are exposed to Chlamydia psittaci through inhalation of the agent dispersed from the infected birds. In this study, a syndrome observed in an aviary of canaries was investigated. A heavy infestation by D. gallinae was reported. Simultaneously, a C. psittaci infection was molecularly confirmed in the canaries. Combined therapy was applied successfully. The association of C. psittaci with the examined mites has been confirmed. Therefore, we think that D. gallinae have played a role in the spreading of C. psittaci infection among the canaries. Moreover, D. gallinae could have played an important role predisposing the canaries to the development of chlamydiosis, by inducing anemia and debilitation. The control of mites in the aviaries may represent a crucial step for the prevention of important infection such as chlamydiosis in birds and humans.


Dermanyssus gallinae Chlamydia psittaci Canary Zoonosis 



The authors wish to thank Aldo Corriero, Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy, for his support for micrograph of Dermanyssus gallinae.

Supplementary material

10493_2011_9478_MOESM1_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 36 kb)
10493_2011_9478_MOESM2_ESM.tif (102.8 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 105300 kb)


  1. Andersen AA (2005) Serotyping of US isolates of Chlamydophila psittaci from domestic and wild birds. J Vet Diagn Invest 17:479–482PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen AA, Vanrompay D (2000) Avian chlamydiosis. Rev Sci Technol 19:396–404Google Scholar
  3. Andersen AA, Vanrompay D (2008) Avian chlamydiosis (psittacosis, ornithosis). In: Saif YM (ed) Diseases of poultry, 12th edn. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, pp 971–986Google Scholar
  4. Arends JJ (2008) External parasites and poultry pests. In: Saif YM (ed) Diseases of poultry, 12th edn. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, pp 905–930Google Scholar
  5. Baker AS (1999) Mites and ticks of domestic animals. An identification guide and information source. The Natural History Museum, The Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Cafiero MA, Camarda A, Circella E, Galante D, Lomuto M (2009) An urban outbreak of red mite dermatitis in Italy. Intern J Dermatol 48:1119–1121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cole JR, Wang Q, Cardenas E, Fish J, Chai B, Farris RJ, Kulam-Syed-Mohideen AS, McGarrel DM, Marsh T, Garrity GM, Tiedje JM (2009) The ribosomal database project: improved alignments and new tools for rRNA analysis. Nucleic Acid Res 37:D141–D145PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. De Luna CJ, Arkle S, Harrington D, George DR, Guy JH, Sparagano OAE (2008) The poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae as a potential carrier of vector-borne diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1149:255–258PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dovc A, Dovc P, Kese D, Vlahovic K, Pavlak M, Zorman-Rojs O (2005) Long-term study of Chlamydophilosis in Slovenia. Vet Res Commun 29(suppl 1):23–36PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eddie B, Meyer KF, Lambrecht FL, Furman DP (1962) Isolation of ornithosis bedsoniae from mites collected in turkey quarters and from chicken lice. J Infect Dis 110:231–237PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Everett KD, Bush RM, Andersen AA (1999) Emended description of the order Chlamydiales, proposal of Parachlamydiaceae fam. Nov. and Simkaniaceae fam. Nov., each containing one monotypic genus, revised taxonomy of the family Chlamydiaceae, including a new genus and five new species, and standards for the identification of organisms. Int J Syst Bacteriol 49:415–440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferreri AJM, Dolcetti R, Magnino S, Doglioni C, Cangi MG, Pecciarini L, Ghia P, Dagkljs A, Pasini E, Vicari N, Dognini GP, Resti AG, Ponzoni M (2007) A woman and her canary: a tale of chlamydiae and lymphomas. J Natl Cancer Inst 99:1418–1419PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gerlach H (1994) Chlamidia. In: Ritchie BW, Harrison GJ, Harrison LR (eds) Avian medicine: principles and application. Wingers Publishing, Lake Worth, pp 984–996Google Scholar
  14. Harkinezhad T, Geens T, Vanrompay D (2009) Chlamydophila psittaci infections in birds: a review with emphasis on zoonotic consequences. Vet Microbiol 135:68–77PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harrington DWJ, Robinson K, Sparagano OAE (2010) Immune responses of the domestic fowl to Dermanyssus gallinae under laboratory conditions. Parasitol Res 106:1425–1434PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes, Subcommittee on the taxonomy of the Chlamydiae (2010) Minutes of the closed meeting, 21 June 2010, Hof bei Salzburg, Austria. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 60:2694Google Scholar
  17. Magnino S, Haag-Wackernagel D, Geingenfeind I, Helmecke S, Dovc A, Prukner-Radovcic E, Residbegovic E, Ilieski V, Laroucau K, Donati M, Martinov S, Kaleta EF (2009) Chlamydial infection in feral pigeons in Europe: review of data and focus on public health implications. Vet Microbiol 135:54–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Messmer TO, Skelton SK, Moroney JF, Daugharty H, Fields BS (1997) Application of a nested, multiplex PCR to psittacosis outbreaks. J Clin Microbiol 35:2043–2046PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Rodolakis A, Mohamad KY (2010) Zoonotic potential of Chlamydophila. Vet Microbiol 140:382–391PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Smith KA, Campbell CT, Murphy J, Stobierski MG, Tengelsen LA (2011) Compendium of measures to control Chlamydophila psittaci infection among humans (psittacosis) and pet birds (avian chlamydiosis), 2010 National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV). J Exot Pet Med 20:32–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tamura K, Dudley J, Nei M, Kumar S (2007) MEGA4: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0. Mol Biol Evol 24:1596–1599PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Todisco G, Paoletti B, Giammarino A, Manera M, Sparagano OAE, Iorio R, Giannella B, Robbe D (2008) Comparing therapeutic efficacy between ivermectin, selamectin and moxidectin in canaries during natural infection with Dermanyssus gallinae. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1149:365–367PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Valiente Moro C, De Luna CJ, Tod A, Guy JH, Sparagano OAE, Zenner L (2008) The poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae): a potential vector of pathogenic agents. Exp Appl Acarol 48:93–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Van Loock M, Verminnen K, Messmer TO, Volckaert G, Goddeeris BM, Vanrompay D (2005) Use of a nested PCR-enzyme immunoassay with an internal control to detect Chlamydophila psittaci in Turkeys. BMC Infect Dis 5:76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Varma MGR (1993) Ticks and mites (Acari). In: Lane RP, Crosskey RW (eds) Medical insects and arachnids. University Press, Cambridge, pp 597–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Circella
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. Pugliese
    • 1
  • G. Todisco
    • 2
  • M. A. Cafiero
    • 3
  • O. A. E. Sparagano
    • 4
  • A. Camarda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Bari “Aldo Moro”Valenzano, BariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of TeramoTeramoItaly
  3. 3.Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and BasilicataFoggiaItaly
  4. 4.School of Life SciencesNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations