Avian Chlamydia abortus Strains Detected in Galápagos Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata)  : Brief Report

Galápagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus), Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi), and Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) are among the most vulnerable species to natural and anthropogenic factors in the Galápagos Islands. In 2017, a dedicated study was conducted to detect Chlamydiaceae on cloacal swabs collected from 59 albatrosses, 68 penguins, and 10 cormorants in different islands and sites in the Galápagos Archipelago. A real-time PCR method targeting the conserved 23S ribosomal RNA gene of the Chlamydiaceae family detected the presence of the bacterium only in albatrosses from Punta Suárez, Española Island, with 21 positive samples (35.6%), whereas negative results were obtained with available real-time PCR systems specific to Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia abortus. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of the most strongly positive samples revealed a new sequence type closely related to the recently described avian strains of C. abortus. For a quick identification, a new real-time PCR system that allows the detection of all strains (avian and ruminant) belonging to the C. abortus species has been developed. Applied to a second set of samples from 31 albatrosses collected at Punta Suárez, Española Island, in 2018, the new real-time PCR system confirmed the presence of this bacteria in this group of birds, with the same new MLST sequence type.



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