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Birds of a feather: an uncommon cause of pneumonia and meningoencephalitis
  1. Anne-Marie Ionescu1,2,
  2. Divya Khare3,
  3. Jay Kavi4,5
  1. 1UHCW, Coventry, UK
  2. 2George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK
  3. 3Department of ITU & Anaesthetics, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK
  4. 4Department of Microbiology, UHCW, Coventry, UK
  5. 5Department of Microbiology, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anne-Marie Ionescu, anne-marie.ionescu{at}


A 61-year-old man was admitted with a 1-week history of influenza-like symptoms during a period of increased influenza virus activity. He soon developed type 2 respiratory failure and became increasingly drowsy. He later suffered a convulsive episode in the intensive care unit (ICU) which self-terminated. Initial clinical findings suggested community-acquired pneumonia and meningoencephalitis. However, a detailed history revealed that he was a pet bird-keeper, which raised a suspicion of ornithosis. Chlamydia psittaci DNA was detected in sputum by PCR. He was started on appropriate antibiotics and made a full recovery. We present this uncommon cause of pneumonia as an example of the importance of accurate history-taking to ensure a correct diagnosis for optimal management.

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