Evaluation of the presence and zoonotic transmission of Chlamydia suis in a pig slaughterhouse

Kristien De Puysseleyr*, Leentje De Puysseleyr, Hendrik Dhondt, Tom Geens, Lutgart Braeckman, Servaas A. Morre, Eric Cox, Daisy Vanrompay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A significant number of studies on pig farms and wild boars worldwide, demonstrate the endemic presence of Chlamydia suis in pigs. However, the zoonotic potential of this pathogen, phylogenetically closely related to Chlamydia trachomatis, is still uninvestigated. Therefore, this study aims to examine the zoonotic transmission in a Belgian pig abattoir. Methods: Presence of Chlamydia suis in pigs, contact surfaces, air and employees was assessed using a Chlamydia suis specific real-time PCR and culture. Furthermore, Chlamydia suis isolates were tested for the presence of the tet(C) gene. Results: Chlamydia suis bacteria could be demonstrated in samples from pigs, the air and contact surfaces. Moreover, eye swabs of two employees were positive for Chlamydia suis by both PCR and culture. The tet(C) gene was absent in both human Chlamydia suis isolates and no clinical signs were reported. Conclusions: These findings suggest the need for further epidemiological and clinical research to elucidate the significance of human ocular Chlamydia suis infections.
Original languageEnglish
Article number560
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2014


  • Chlamydia suis
  • Swine
  • Zoonosis
  • Tetracycline
  • Public health

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