Psittacosis (ornithosis) case definition

This document contains the case definitions for psittacosis which is nationally notifiable within Australia. This definition should be used to determine whether a case should be notified.

Page last updated: 12 March 2004

Australian national notifiable diseases case definitions - Psittacosis (ornithosis)

Reporting

Both confirmed cases and probable cases should be notified.

Confirmed case

A confirmed case requires Laboratory definitive evidence AND clinical evidence AND epidemiological evidence.

Laboratory definitive evidence

1. A fourfold rise or greater in antibody titre against Chlamydia psittaci as demonstrated by microimmunofluorescence (MIF) on acute and convalescent sera (collected at least two weeks later) tested in parallel;

OR

2. Detection of C. psittaci by nucleic acid testing or culture.

Clinical evidence

1. Pneumonia

OR

2. AT LEAST TWO of the following: fever, headache, myalgia, rigors, dry cough or dyspnoea.

Epidemiological evidence

Exposure to birds or bird products, or proximity to an outbreak of psittacosis.

Probable case

A probable case requires Laboratory suggestive evidence AND clinical evidence AND epidemiological evidence.

Laboratory suggestive evidence

1. A single high total antibody level or detection of IgM antibody to C. psittaci by MIF

OR

2. A single high total antibody titre to Chlamydia species demonstrated by complement fixation (CF) in at least one sample obtained at least two weeks after onset of symptoms

OR

3. A fourfold or greater rise in antibody titre against Chlamydia species as demonstrated by CF.

Clinical evidence

As with confirmed case.

Epidemiological evidence

As with confirmed case.


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