Chlamydia psittaci in fulmars on the Faroe Islands: a causative link to South American psittacines eight decades after a severe epidemic

Helen Wang, Jens-Kjeld Jensen, Anna Olsson, Fabien Vorimore, Rachid Aaziz, Lionel Guy, Patrik Ellstrom, Karine Laroucau, Bjorn Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A psittacosis epidemic linked to fulmar hunting occurred on the Faroe Islands in the 1930s. This study investigates a plausible explanation to the 20% human mortality in this outbreak. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Chlamydia psittaci isolated from fulmars were closely related to the highly virulent 6BC
strains from psittacines and are compatible with an acquisition by fulmars of an ancestor of the 6BC clade in the 1930s. This supports the hypothesis that the outbreak on the Faroe Islands started after naïve fulmars acquired C. psittaci from infected dead parrots thrown overboard when shipped to Europe in the 1930s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-359
Number of pages3
JournalMicrobes and Infection : A Journal on Infectious Agents and Host Defenses
Volume22
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chlamydia psittaci
  • Fulmar
  • Psittacosis
  • Avian chlamydiosis
  • The Faroe Islands

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