Chlamydophila spp

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Bovine oviduct cell cultures infected with C. abortus

Chlamydophila spp are a genus of bacteria which have been reported as pathogenic in cattle. Chalmydophila spp are a ubiquitous parasite with mixed infections occurring frequently[1].

The apparent lack of association between infection and clinical disease has resulted in debate as to the pathogenic significance of these organisms, and their tendency to sub-clinical and/or persistent infection presents a challenge to the study of their potential effects. However, recent evidence indicates that chlamydial infections have a substantial and quantifiable impact on livestock productivity with chronic, recurrent infections associated with pulmonary disease in calves and with infertility and sub-clinical mastitis in dairy cows.

Chlamydial infection in cattle have also been associated with reproductive disorders including abortion, endometritis, repeat breeding, vaginitis, seminal vesiculitis, weak calves and perinatal mortality[2]. Moreover, symptoms such as pneumonia, conjunctivitis, enteritis, polyarthritis and encephalitis have been reported[3].

Species of Chlamydophila which have been recorded in cattle include:

Accurate determination of the presence of Chlamydophila spp can be detected using ELISA and PCR testing[5].


  1. Reinhold P et al (2011) Chlamydiaceae in cattle: commensals, trigger organisms, or pathogens? Vet J 189(3):257-267
  2. Storz J (1988) Overview of animal diseases induced by chlamydial infections. In: Barron AL, editor. Microbiology of Chlamydia. Florida: CRC Press, Inc. pp:167–192
  3. Piercy DW et al (1999) Encephalitis related to Chlamydia psittaci infection in a 14-week-old calf. Vet Rec 144(5):126-128
  4. Cox HU et al (1998) Isolation of an avian serovar of Chlamydia psittaci from a case of bovine abortion. J Vet Diagn Invest 10(3):280-282
  5. Cavirani S et al (2001) Association between Chlamydia psittaci seropositivity and abortion in Italian dairy cows. Prev Vet Med 50(1-2):145-151