Species: Feline, avian
Specimen: Conjunctival, nasal/choanal, oropharyngeal or cloacal swabs
Container: Dry swab (plastic handle) placed in a sterile container or swab carrier
Collection protocol: Swab affected tissue
Special handling/shipping requirements: Standard
General information about the disease: Chlamydophila felis is a major cause of conjunctivitis in cats and is one of the major pathogens implicated in feline upper respiratory tract disease. Coinfections with other upper respiratory tract pathogens such as feline herpesvirus-1 and/or calicivirus may also occur. C. felis is transmitted by direct contact and cats <1 year of age and those from multicat environments are at most risk. The organism can also cause a rhinitis and pneumonia however these disease presentations are uncommon to rare.
Chlamydophila psittaci is the cause of avian chlamydiosis, also known as psittacosis. It has a worldwide distribution and poses a zoonotic risk to humans. Domestic and wild birds infected with the agent may have inapparent subclinical disease (common) or acute, subacute to chronic disease. The respiratory or digestive tracts are primarily affected however systemic illness can also occur.
General information about when this test is indicated: The chlamydia antigen test is a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) test that detects the presence of chlamydial antigens*
Comparison with other related tests: A C. felis PCR test is available and deemed more sensitive and specific than the chlamydia antigen test. Cytology of conjunctival smears or impression smears from affected tissues (e.g. spleen, liver, and lung) can be checked for chlamydial inclusions however these are easily confused with other, non-specific basophilic bodies that may be present within epithelial cells.
* This chlamydia antigen test is used for the detection of C. trachomatis in humans however it has been shown to detect all known Chlamydial serovars (ref: Chlamydia Rapid Test Cassette Package Insert)