High numbers of pigeons live in almost every city in the world and pigeons can harbour a large variety of pathogens. The health hazard for human has been frequently emphasised, but according to a comprehensive literature search and some recent review articles Cryptococcus and Chlamydophila psittaci are the only pathogens with zoonotic potential that can pose some health hazard for humans. Both this pathogens can be transmitted from airborne excreta, mainly dried feces. The review is updating the main aspects of Cryptococcus and Chlamydophila psittaci infections in pigeons and the role of this bird as a source of infection for humans. Recommendations aimed at preventing pigeon-related infection in humans are also given suggesting education initiatives and communication of health risk. These must be targeted to specific categories of persons at risk such as immunocompromised patients, old people, children and special categories of workers that can became in contact with dried pigeons droppings.
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