Molecular Detection and Identification of Chlamydiaceae in the Eyes of Wild and Domestic Ruminant Hosts from Northern Spain
Cabezón Ponsoda, Óscar
López Olvera, Jorge R.
Lavín González, Santiago
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Infections by Chlamydiae are associated with ocular disease in humans and animals. In this study, the presence and diversity of Chlamydia spp. was assessed in diseased and healthy eyes of domestic sheep and wild ruminants that share mountain habitats in northern Spain. The presence of Chlamydia spp. was tested by real-time PCR in 1786 conjunctival swabs collected from both eyes of 893 animals from mountain habitats in northern Spain, and chlamydial species were identified in the positive samples by ArrayTube microarray methods. Chlamydial DNA was detected in 0.6% (CI95% 0.2–1.3) of the Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) and 1.4% (CI95% <0.01–8.1) of the sheep (Ovis aries) sampled, with Chlamydia pecorum the only chlamydial species identified. No association of C. pecorum with ocular disease or co-infection with Mycoplasma conjunctivae was found. Further studies on the pathogenesis of infectious keratoconjunctivitis are needed to better understand the ecology of C. pecorum and its possible role as a ruminant pathogen at the wildlife–livestock interface.