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also called parrot disease, is an acute infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, spleen, Central nervous system and lungs. The causative agent of psittacosis chlamydia psittaci (Latin name of a parrot, whence the second name of the disease psittacosis).

Psittacosis in humans can be divided into 3 types pneumonic, flu-like and teapodong.


The most common method of transmission is contact with various kinds of birds and animals (both professional and domestic). The most susceptible families of birds are the pigeon and Fischer’s lovebird.

The main mechanism of infection is airborne, which in the Airways together with air or particles of dust ingested and the pathogen, but it is possible and oral method of transmission, which implies the violation of basic hygiene, in which the pathogen enters the body through contaminated hands or items that contain by-products of avian raw materials (products containing birds ‘ eggs).


The incubation period of the disease ranges from 530 days (usually just 1.52 weeks).

Psittacosis can occur in three forms

  • in the form of flu-like
  • in pneumonic form
  • in hipopotamo form.

Psittacosis most commonly occurs in flu-like and pneumatic forms.

The most frequent symptoms in pneumatic form of psittacosis

  • the presence of chills
  • increased to 3840 degrees body temperature
  • on the second or third day the disease starts dry, gradually turning in the wet, cough
  • the selection as lisno-purulent sputum when coughing, and may contain streaks of blood
  • the presence of shortness of breath, pain when breathing
  • the presence of signs of General intoxication
  • 57 day can cause changes in the lungs (rales when listening, changes in the radiograph)
  • of the cardiovascular system, reducing heart rate, lowering blood pressure.

Pneumatic psittacosis, symptoms which do not disappear for a long period of time, can develop into a severe form that is characterized by

  • pattern of myocardial damage with ECG study
  • the reduction or complete absence of the patient’s appetite
  • the presence of vomiting, delayed stool, headaches, insomnia or impaired consciousness
  • enlargement of the spleen and liver of the patient.

Flu-like form of psittacosis in humans has the following symptoms

  • a persistent increase in body temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius
  • the presence of dry cough, sore throat and hoarseness.

Lasts the disease in this form usually from two to eight days.

When getting infected with a causative agent of food in the digestive tract of the respiratory and digestive organs often without hurting the agent, whereby the disease can sometimes occur without symptoms (in this case, correct diagnosis is possible only with laboratory analysis of the patient).

However, frequently the signs of psittacosis hipopotamo forms are available in the following symptoms

  • the increase in body temperature (possibly as low grade and hyperthermic temperature rise)
  • decrease heart rate
  • the presence of neurotoxic symptoms, which include impaired consciousness, headache, insomnia.

Psittacosis may be accompanied by dangerous complications, as

  • hepatitis
  • and other disorders of the cardiovascular system.

In addition, when a long sluggish course of the disease possible its transition into the chronic form, occurring from 3 to 5 years and with signs of

and chronic



Important factors in the diagnosis of psittacosis are the patient’s complaints and his contacts with birds, but the full picture give the following types of laboratory analyses

  • sputum
  • analysis for the presence of antigen
  • qualitative and quantitative determination of the antibody levels of chlamydia in the patient’s blood
  • early intradermal test
  • observation pulmonologists and infectious disease specialists.


Treatment of psittacosis involves the following steps

  • antibiotic therapy (treatment with antibiotics by the doctor)
  • treatment aimed at the systematic elimination of symptoms of the disease (improvement of respiratory function, treatment of cough, etc.)
  • physiotherapy.

If psittacosis has acquired a severe form observed prolonged duration of the disease, the application of vaccine therapy.

In addition, considerable importance is the prevention of psittacosis, the main measures being

  • the basic hygiene rules, especially when working with birds
  • the introduction of a special sanitary-veterinary measures (disinfection, quarantine, isolation sources of the disease).