- An infectious disease in psittacine birds and humans caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci. Avian infections are mainly inapparent or latent, although acute disease does occur; human infections may result in mild disease with a flulike syndrome or in severe disease, especially in older persons, with symptoms of bronchopneumonia. SYN: Parrot disease (3), parrot fever. [G. psittakos, a parrot, + -osis, condition]
* * *psit·ta·co·sis .sit-ə-'kō-səs n, pl -co·ses -.sēz an infectious disease of birds caused by a bacterium of the genus Chlamydia (C. psittaci), marked by diarrhea and wasting, and transmissible to humans in whom it usu. occurs as an atypical pneumonia accompanied by high fever called also parrot fever compare ORNITHOSISpsit·ta·co·tic -'kät-ik, -'kōt- adj
* * *n.an endemic infection of birds, especially parrots, budgerigars, canaries, finches, pigeons, and poultry, caused by a small intracellular bacterium, Chlamydia psittaci. The birds are often asymptomatic carriers. The infection is transmitted to humans by inhalation from handling the birds or by contact with feathers, faeces, or cage dust, but person-to-person transmission also occurs. The symptoms include fever, dry cough, severe muscle pain, and headache; occasionally a severe generalized systemic illness results. The condition responds to tetracycline or erythromycin.
* * *psit·ta·co·sis (sit″ə-koґsis) [Gr. psittakos parrot + -osis] 1. an acute or chronic respiratory and systemic disease of wild and domestic birds, caused by infection with Chlamydophila psittaci; it was originally seen in psittacine birds and is transmissible to other animals. Called also chlamydiosis. 2. human infection by C. psittaci, generally acquired by inhalation of dried bird excreta containing the pathogen; it may also be acquired by handling feathers or tissues of infected birds, through an open skin lesion, or from the bite of an infected bird. It may be asymptomatic, have mild influenzalike symptoms, or manifest as severe pneumonia that lasts several weeks (see Chlamydophila psittaci pneumonia>, under pneumonia). Called also parrot disease or fever and ornithosis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.