Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is a disease caused by BFDV (Beak and Feather Disease Virus), a virus belonging to the circoviruses group. It is a small (around 2000 bp) DNA virus with single-stranded circular DNA. PBFD is a specific disease for Psittaciformes but all birds are susceptible to this disease.
This infection is often fatal for young individuals. Older birds can get over disease with permanent consequences. BFDV can attack the liver, brain and immune system, causing reduced resistance to other infections. Consequently, death is caused by a secondary bacterial, fungal, parasitic or viral infection.
PBFD is one of the most significant pathogens of domestically raised psittacine birds (parrots). There is currently no specific treatment for the virus. When you get positive results from the analysis it is very important to separate infected birds from other healthy birds and disinfect the cage.
Transmission of the virus from an infected individual to another is carried primarily by direct contact, inhalation of aerosol, eating contaminated food, infection with feces and feather dust. The virus can also be transmitted by contaminated surfaces such as bird spars, food, various containers, clothing, and liner material.
Detection PBFD is performed by isolation of DNA from blood and feathers and the following PCR.
The analysis is performed from the bloodstain and freshly plucked feathers (5-6 chest feathers), as well as for the DNA-sexing (one bloodstain is enough for both analyzes). However, we recommend sending blood and feather samples from each individual, which will then be processed as a mixed sample.