Chlamydia is found commonly in birds and cats. Chlamydia are intracellular organisms so epithelial cells need to be collected in the specimen. This requires fairly vigorous scraping of the tissue. Although cats can carry chlamydia asymptomatically in their conjunctiva, birds carrying chlamydia usually have conjunctivitis. It is therefore recommended that conjunctival scrapes from birds only be done on those showing clinical conjunctivitis. The best samples to submit are conjunctival scrapings, cloacal scrapings, or whole fresh spleen or liver (from necropsy).
Chlamydia infection is diagnosed by ELISA or PCR: Please refer to other sections of this Handbook for more details. If submitting swabs for PCR remember to submit a dry swab which is more suitable.
Special handling/shipping requirements: Ship chilled, double bagged and in a leak proof container, mentioning in your history that Chlamydia is on your differential list, as this is a zoonotic organism.