psittacosis


psittacosis
/sit'euh koh"sis/, n. Pathol.
a rickettsial disease affecting birds of the parrot family, pigeons, and domestic fowl, caused by the chlamydia Chlamydia psittaci and transmissible to humans. Also called ornithosis, parrot fever.
[1895-1900; < L psittac(us) parrot ( < Gk psittakós) + -OSIS]

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also called  ornithosis or parrot fever  

      infectious disease of worldwide distribution caused by a bacterial parasite (Chlamydia psittaci) and transmitted to humans from various birds (bird). The infection has been found in about 70 different species of birds; parrots and parakeets (Psittacidae, from which the disease is named), pigeons, turkeys, ducks, and geese are the principal sources of human infection.

      The association between the human disease and sick parrots was first recognized in Europe in 1879, although a thorough study of the disease was not made until 1929–30, when severe outbreaks, attributed to contact with imported parrots, occurred in 12 countries of Europe and America. During the investigations conducted in Germany, England, and the United States, the causative agent was revealed. Strict regulations followed concerning importation of psittacine birds, which undoubtedly reduced the incidence of the disease but did not prevent the intermittent appearance of cases. The infection was later found in domestic stocks of parakeets and pigeons and subsequently in other species. Infected turkeys, ducks, or geese have caused many cases among poultry handlers or workers in processing plants.

      Psittacosis usually causes only mild symptoms of illness in birds, but in humans it can be fatal if untreated. Humans usually contract the disease by inhaling dust particles contaminated with the excrement of infected birds. The bacterial parasite thus gains access to the body and multiplies in the blood and tissues. In humans psittacosis may cause high fever and pneumonia. Other symptoms include chills, weakness, head and body aches, and an elevated respiratory rate. The typical duration of the disease is two to three weeks, and convalescence often is protracted. Before modern antibiotic drugs were available, the case fatality rate was approximately 20 percent, but penicillin and the tetracycline drugs reduced this figure almost to zero.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Psittacosis — Classification and external resources Direct fluorescent antibody stain of a mouse brain impression smear showing C. psittaci. ICD 10 A …   Wikipedia

  • psittacosis — [sit΄ə kō′sis] n. [ModL < L psittacus < Gr psittakos, parrot + OSIS] an acute or chronic disease of birds, esp. birds of the parrot order, caused by a bacterium (Chlamydia psittaci): often transmitted to humans, in whom it is characterized… …   English World dictionary

  • psittacosis — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Latin psittacus Date: 1897 an infectious disease of birds caused by a bacterium (Chlamydia psittaci), marked by diarrhea and wasting, and transmissible to humans in whom it occurs as a flu like illness often… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • psittacosis — (ornithosis; sit ah ko sis) A disease due to a strain of Chlamydia psittaci, first seen in parrots and later found in other birds and domestic fowl (in which it is called ornithosis). It is transmissible to humans …   Dictionary of microbiology

  • psittacosis — noun /ˌsiɾəˈkoʊsɨs/ An infection by Chlamydia bacteria, caught from infected birds, and characterised by fever, pneumonia and headaches. Syn: ornithosis, parrot disease, parrot fever …   Wiktionary

  • psittacosis — An infectious disease in psittacine birds and humans caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci. Avian infections are mainly inapparent or latent, although acute disease does occur; human infections may result in mild disease with a flulike… …   Medical dictionary

  • psittacosis —  Sometimes called parrot fever; a disease of birds that can be passed to people …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • psittacosis — psit·ta·co·sis || ‚(p)sɪtÉ™ kəʊsɪs n. (Pathology) Parrot Fever , infectious disease carried by some birds and which can be transmitted to humans (causes pneumonia, high fever, weakness, and fatigue) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • psittacosis — [ˌsɪtə kəʊsɪs] noun a contagious disease of birds, caused by chlamydiae and transmissible (especially from parrots) to human beings as a form of pneumonia. Origin C19: from L. psittacus parrot + osis …   English new terms dictionary

  • psittacosis — psit·ta·co·sis …   English syllables


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