Chlamydia psittaci st24: Clonal strains of one health importance dominate in australian horse, bird and human infections

Susan I. Anstey, Vasilli Kasimov, Cheryl Jenkins, Alistair Legione, Joanne Devlin, Jemima Amery-Gale, James Gilkerson, Sam Hair, Nigel Perkins, Alison J. Peel, Nicole Borel, Yvonne Pannekoek, Anne-Lise Chaber, Lucy Woolford, Peter Timms, Martina Jelocnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle*Academicpeer-review


Chlamydia psittaci is traditionally regarded as a globally distributed avian pathogen that can cause zoonotic spill-over. Molecular research has identified an extended global host range and significant genetic diversity. However, Australia has reported a reduced host range (avian, horse, and human) with a dominance of clonal strains, denoted ST24. To better understand the widespread of this strain type in Australia, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and ompA genotyping were applied on samples from a range of hosts (avian, equine, marsupial, and bovine) from Australia. MLST confirms that clonal ST24 strains dominate infections of Australian psittacine and equine hosts (82/88; 93.18%). However, this study also found novel hosts (Australian white ibis, King parrots, racing pigeon, bovine, and a wallaby) and demonstrated that strain diversity does exist in Australia. The discovery of a C. psittaci novel strain (ST306) in a novel host, the Western brush wallaby, is the first detection in a marsupial. Analysis of the results of this study applied a multidisciplinary approach regarding Chlamydia infections, equine infectious disease, ecology, and One Health. Recommendations include an update for the descriptive framework of C. psittaci disease and cell biology work to inform pathogenicity and complement molecular epidemiology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1015
JournalPathogens (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Australia
  • Chlamydia psittaci
  • Genetic diversity
  • MLST
  • Novel hosts
  • Novel strains
  • OmpA genotyping

Cite this