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Chlamydophila abortus

Warning notice about C. abortus on a live stock pen.

Chlamydophila abortus
Scientific classification
C. abortus Everett et al. 1999

Chlamydophila abortus is a species in Chlamydiae that causes abortion and fetal death in mammals, including humans. Chlamydophila abortus was previously classified as Chlamydia psittaci along with all Chlamydiae except Chlamydia trachomatis. This was based on a lack of evident glycogen production and on resistance to the antibiotic sulfadiazine. In 1999 C. psittaci and C. abortus were recognized as distinct species based on differences of pathogenicity and DNA–DNA hybridization.[1]

In humans

There are approximately one or two cases of chlamydiosis diagnosis in pregnant women in the United Kingdom per year. Typically transmission occurs from contact with livestock who have recently given birth. The true prevalence in humans is unknown because serological antibody tests are unable to distinguish between C. abortus and other more common species such as Chlamydia trachomatis.[2]

In other animals

C. abortus is endemic among ruminants such as cows and sheep and has been associated with abortion in a horse, a rabbit, guinea pigs, mice, pigs and humans. Infected females shed bacteria near the time of ovulation, so C. abortus is transmitted orally and sexually among mammals. All C. abortus strains were isolated or PCR-amplified from the placenta or fetal organs after spontaneous abortion. C. abortus infection generally remains unapparent until an animal aborts late in gestation or gives birth to a weak or dead fetus.

C. abortus has been isolated from birds.

Genome structure

C. abortus has a relatively small genome that contains 1.14 Mbp with 961 protein coding genes.[3]


  1. ^ Everett, KD.; Bush, RM.; Andersen, AA. (Apr 1999). "Emended description of the order Chlamydiales, proposal of Parachlamydiaceae fam. nov. and Simkaniaceae fam. nov., each containing one monotypic genus, revised taxonomy of the family Chlamydiaceae, including a new genus and five new species, and standards for the identification of organisms". Int J Syst Bacteriol. 49 Pt 2: 415–40. doi:10.1099/00207713-49-2-415. PMID 10319462.
  2. ^ "Chlamydophila abortus". Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  3. ^ Thomson, NR.; Yeats, C.; Bell, K.; Holden, MT.; Bentley, SD.; Livingstone, M.; Cerdeño-Tárraga, AM.; Harris, B.; et al. (May 2005). "The Chlamydophila abortus genome sequence reveals an array of variable proteins that contribute to interspecies variation". Genome Res. 15 (5): 629–40. doi:10.1101/gr.3684805. PMC 1088291. PMID 15837807.

Further reading

  • Chen, Qiwei; Gong, Xiaowei; Zheng, Fuying; Cao, Xiaoan; Li, Zhaocai; Zhou, Jizhang (2014). "Seroprevalence of Chlamydophila abortus infection in yaks (Bos grunniens) in Qinghai, China". Tropical Animal Health and Production. 46 (3): 503–507. doi:10.1007/s11250-013-0519-8.
  • Longbottom, D; Livingstone, M (March 2006). "Vaccination Against Chlamydial Infections of Man and Animals". The Veterinary Journal. 171 (2): 263–275. doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2004.09.006.