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Abstract

Introduction:

Psittacosis is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by and most cases involve avian contact history. In humans, psittacosis induces symptoms ranging from mild ‘flu-like’ symptoms to serious atypical pneumonia. Unless specifically thought of, the diagnosis of psittacosis can be missed and the disease is usually treated as atypical pneumonia. Here, we detail cases of psittacosis related to pet birds.

Case presentation:

A 16-year-old male was admitted with fever and persistent cough. The patient reported previous treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics that led to limited improvement of his condition, and owning pet birds; thus, psittacosis was suspected. Serum samples from the patient were obtained and tested using a microimmunofluorescence assay, revealing an IgG titre of 64. An epidemiological investigation was conducted in five family members related to the patient; two possessed anti- antibodies (IgG titre = 64 and IgM titre = 20; IgG titre = 128 and IgA titre = 20). Additionally, DNA was detected by PCR carried out on the family's pet birds.

Conclusion:

Psittacosis probably occurs more often than reported. Individuals with milder cases may not seek medical attention, and physicians may not inquire about bird exposure. There is a need for awareness campaigns directed at health workers and birds owners.

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2015-09-10
2019-10-17
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