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Gestational psittacosis in a Montana sheep rancher.
  • Published Date:
    1997 Apr-Jun
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 3(2):191-194.
Filetype[PDF - 26.73 KB]


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  • Description:
    In humans, psittacosis is primarily a flulike illness following exposure to psittacine birds. In rare cases, pregnant women exposed to Chlamydia psittaci can contract gestational psittacosis: atypical pneumonia, sepsis, and placental insufficiency resulting in premature birth or miscarriage. In the United States, only two cases of gestational psittacosis have been reported, both from exposure to psittacine birds. Eleven other cases have been reported worldwide, mostly in the United Kingdom, all from exposure to infected birth fluids and membranes of farm mammals, notably sheep and goats. In these mammals, C. psittaci inhabit the reproductive tract, are transmitted sexually or by the fecal-oral route, and cause miscarriages. The case of gestational psittacosis in a Montana sheep rancher is the first farm animal-related case reported in the United States. Pregnant women should avoid close contact with C. psittaci-infected animals, particularly sheep and goats during the birthing season. Obstetricians should consider this diagnosis along with early antibiotic treatment and cesarean section delivery in the context of the patient's case history.