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J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Jan;47(1):175-81. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01851-08. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Genotyping of Chlamydophila psittaci by real-time PCR and high-resolution melt analysis.

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Respiratory Disease Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, MS G-03, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Human infection with Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) psittaci can lead to psittacosis, a disease that occasionally results in severe pneumonia and other medical complications. C. psittaci is currently grouped into seven avian genotypes: A through F and E/B. Serological testing, outer membrane protein A (ompA) gene sequencing, and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis are currently used for distinguishing these genotypes. Although accurate, these methods are time-consuming and require multiple confirmatory tests. By targeting the ompA gene, a real-time PCR assay has been developed to rapidly detect and genotype C. psittaci by light-upon-extension chemistry and high-resolution melt analysis. Using this assay, we screened 169 animal specimens; 98 were positive for C. psittaci (71.4% genotype A, 3.1% genotype B, 4.1% genotype E, and 21.4% unable to be typed). This test may provide insight into the distribution of each genotype among specific hosts and provide epidemiological and epizootiological data in human and mammalian/avian cases. This diagnostic assay may also have veterinary applications during chlamydial outbreaks, particularly with respect to identifying the sources and tracking the movements of a particular genotype when multiple animal facilities are affected.

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