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Re: Cleaning and PBFD/Dottie Clarification Please?

Posted by Michael L on 2/08/06
(13) Comments

    On 2/08/06, Dottie wrote:

    > Mia culpa!!! Since you are the "expert" you tell everyone about it then.

    Thank you for that lovely introduction...

    There are DNA PCR tests for several viruses. This is the blood test of choice
    for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). However, the presence of the
    virus in the bloodstream must be interpreted in light of the bird's age and
    clinical signs. Research has shown that a high percentage of young birds that
    test positive for PBFD, and have no beak or feather lesions, will develop a
    natural immunity to the virus and will actually clear the virus and become
    naturally vaccinated. The Bursa of Fabricius (a lymphoid organ found in baby
    and juvenile birds, just inside the cloaca) is very important in determining
    whether or not a bird can acquire the virus. It is much more difficult for an
    adult bird (in which the Bursa has involuted) to acquire PBFD, unless there
    is actual blood contact with the virus. Any clinically normal bird (of any
    age) that tests positive for PBFD should be retested in 90 days. Most young
    birds will clear the virus and be negative by the retest. A clinically normal
    adult bird that tests positive may be transiently viremic, and may also test
    negative in 90 days. A clinically normal adult bird that remains positive may
    be latently infected or continually exposed to viral particles in the
    environment. A bird with beak and/or feather lesions that tests positive may
    be considered infected with PBFD, but it is still prudent to retest in 90
    days, in case the feather lesions are the result of other causes (certain
    medications such as fenbendazole or metronidazole can also cause feather
    abnormalities). In addition to PBFD DNA PCR testing, biopsies of follicles
    containing abnormal feathers can be tested for the presence of the virus, or
    can be examined histopathologically for evidence of the disease.

    Michael L