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Recent advances and public health implications for environmental exposure to Chlamydia abortus: from enzootic to zoonotic disease

Turin, Lauretta; Surini, Sara; Wheelhouse, Nick; Rocchi, Mara Silvia


Lauretta Turin

Sara Surini

Mara Silvia Rocchi


Environmental transmission of Chlamydia abortus as a result of enzootic disease or disease outbreaks and the threats posed by this pathogen has been previously reported, however a state-of-the-science review of these reports and the identification of future research priorities in this area is still lacking. This study provides an overview of the current knowledge of host–pathogen–environment interactions, addressing public health risks and identifying critical questions and research gaps. We performed a systematic PubMed and Web of Science search for publications related to Chlamydia abortus in the past four decades, and we reviewed and combined the evidence critically discussing and commenting the results. A total of 182 studies, 5 chapters of specific books and the “OIE terrestrial manual” were included in this review. There were substantial variations between the studies in topic addressed and experimental design. Overall, the literature largely supports the crucial role played by environmental exposure on the acquisition of zoonotic disease caused by Chlamydia abortus. We also identify the paucity of information related to interspecies transmission and pathogen adaptation in relation to environmental dissemination and zoonotic risk. This analysis further highlights the need for additional research given that environmental transmission represents a serious risk not only to susceptible patients (pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals), but also for other species including wildlife.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Mar 29, 2022
Online Publication Date May 31, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date May 31, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 31, 2022
Journal Veterinary Research
Print ISSN 0928-4249
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 1
Article Number 37
Keywords Chlamydia abortus, public health, environmental exposure, interspecies transmission
Public URL


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