Diagnostic serologic testing of cage and aviary birds for chlamydiosis and suggested confirmatory testing

James E. Grimes, Francisco Arizmendi, Craig N. Carter, Loyd Sneed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A 2 × 2 contingency table was constructed to demonstrate the relationships between detectable chlamydial antibody activity and clinical health status of tested birds. The table revealed that 65.5% of clinically ill birds were antibody positive by elementary body agglutination (EBA) (≥10 titers) and 59.0% were antibody positive by latex agglutination (LA). Thus, EBA was slightly more sensitive than LA in detecting antibody activity. Of the clinically normal birds, 96.7% were antibody negative (<10 titers) by EBA and 98.3% were antibody negative by LA. Individual serum or plasma samples from a group of mixed types of psittacine birds and cockatiels were tested as a separate group, and relationships between EBA-detectable antibody activity and health status were obtained from a 2 × 2 contingency table. Sixty-six percent of birds clinically ill with signs of chlamydiosis in the mixed-type group were antibody positive, whereas only 32.3% of clinically ill cockatiels were antibody positive. Statistical analysis of the contingency table using a chi-square test demonstrated that the EBA test differentiates between individual birds on the basis of health status (P < 0.001). When testing paired serum or plasma samples by EBA, LA, and direct complement fixation (DCF), the highest percentage of significant (≥4-fold change) titer decreases was detected by LA, and the highest percentage of significant titer increases was detected by DCF. Examples of EBA, LA, and DCF titers in paired and multiple serum or plasma samples are persented to show the variety of responses that can occur. Results reflected variations seen in individual testing of birds with titer variability seen in the first sample tested. Additional types of testing believed necessary for confirming or ruling out an infectious process in birds are outlined. The current interpretations of serologic results are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Veterinary (all)


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