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Research Article

Pregnancy complicated by psittacosis acquired from sheep.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 17 April 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1156
  1. R J Beer,
  2. W P Bradford,
  3. R J Hart


    Two cases of chlamydial infection in pregnant women are described, the first serologically proved and the second suspected. In both cases the infection was probably contracted from sheep suffering with enzootic abortion. Both patients were farmers' wives who had helped their husbands and lambing and developed a non-specific febrile illness in late pregnancy. In the first case as there was no clinical improvement after 26 hours the patient was delivered by caesarean section of a live infant in good condition; the patient recovered fully. The second patient had presented a year earlier, the fetus had died in the uterus, and the patient himself died after spontaneous labour and forceps delivery 14 hours after admission. Both patients developed disseminated intravascular coagulation. As the casual agent in enzootic abortion in ewes has a predilection for the placenta, early delivery may be the management of choice in late pregnancy if infection with this organism if suspected.