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Avian Bornavirus (PDD)

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mtngirl

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Avian Bornavirus (aka Proventricular Dilatation Disease/Syndrome and Macaw Wasting Syndrome)

General Information: There are four distinct strains of Avian bornavirus, and it is unclear which one or more of the four viruses is responsible for clinical disease.

Transmission: Though not completely known, direct contact and contact with infected fecal material are thought to be major means of viral transmission.

Clinical Signs: Clinical signs include one or more of the following: vomiting; crop stasis and impaction; weight loss; undigested feed in feces; normal or decreased appetite; abdominal distension; neurologic abnormalities; ataxia (lack of balance or stumbling as if drunk); lethargy; weakness; polyuria (increased urination); diarrhea; seizures; and sudden death.

Clinical Course: The clinical course of this disease is currently unknown. There is a vast range of survival intervals ranging from days to years. To date, there has been no report of a parrot being cured, and the condition is invariably fatal.

Diagnosis: At this time, there is not an accurate ante-mortem test for the diagnosis of proventricular dilatation disease. There is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay available for avian bornavirus, but a positive result for avian bornavirus does not conclusively indicate proventricular dilatation disease. It merely indicates exposure to the virus. Additionally, there is no published data as to the specificity or sensitivity of this assay, therefore it is unknown how many false positive and false negative test results occur. A serology assay (ELISA) is also available but with similar limitations. Ante-mortem diagnosis of this condition is typically based upon clinical history; non-specific diagnostic results obtained from blood work (complete blood count and biochemical profile including bile acids), fecal exam, radiography, endoscopy, and fluoroscopy; and ruling out other conditions which may result in similar clinical findings. Additionally, crop biopsies are sometimes employed for ante-mortem diagnosis. A lack of the characteristic inflammation within the crop, though, does not rule out this condition. Post-mortem histologic examination of numerous organs to evaluate for the characteristic lymphoplasmacytic inflammation of the central and peripheral nervous systems is currently the best means of diagnosis.

Treatment: Treatment is purely symptomatic. Anti-inflammatory medications such as Celebrex or Metacam are commonly employed. Additionally, medications (i.e., metoclopramide)or supplements (i.e., ginger) that increase gastrointestinal motility may be helpful in addition to omega-3/6 balanced fatty acid, vitamin B, and vitamin E supplements. Anti-viral medications such as interferons may also be beneficial. Affected parrots may require syringe feeding and watering to help maintain weight and hydration, as well as environmental modifications in cases exhibiting neurologic abnormalities.

Prevention: The prevalence of this virus within the parrot population is unknown and may be wider spread than previously thought. The best means of prevention include precluding exposure to other parrots and their fecal material and employing strict quarantine standards. The resilience of the virus is also unknown, so toys, clothing, and other implements exposed to unknown parrots should be removed and thoroughly sanitized prior to interacting with your parrot. If a parrot is exposed to an affected parrot, there is no way to determine whether or not he/she will develop clinical disease. Current thoughts suggest that if three years pass without development of clinical disease that the likelihood of future development is low, but there is no proven data to support this claim. There have been rare anecdotal reports of parrots developing disease up to eight years following known exposure.
 
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ncGreyBirdLady

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Thank You Very much for this information,I have made it a sticky so it will not get lost!
 

Hankmacaw

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Thanks so much. Hopefully many of the AA members will read this and increase their knowledge of this horrible disease.
ML
 

suncoast

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I also read in Angela's thread that the newest way for them to detect it, is to collect many weeks or months worth of poo, mix it all together and then test the batch. The theory is that if you collect over a period of time you have a better chance of catching the virus because it's not shed everyday.

Ginger
 

mtngirl

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Thanks Mary for posting those links and Ginger for mentioning the fecal test! There is also some thought that feather destructive behavior and self-mutilation may be associated with avian bornavirus due to inflammation of peripheral nerves in the skin.
 
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Annamacaw

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My Avian Vet said this is something that they are seeing a lot more of lately.......
 

AubsterNzoo

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I have a 17 year old M2 that was diagnosed as a probable PDD bird last November. Fast forward to this December and there has really been no change with the exception of a single seizure about 4 months ago. A bird rescue I work with called me several weeks ago because a bird in quarantine died and necropsy showed PDD. The 3 other birds that were in quarantine with him are now coming to live with me since they have been exposed to the virus. Time will tell if they actually contract PDD from the virus exposure.
 

Tangle Elf

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My vet told me this week that the test for ABV can have false positives, but a negative is a firm negative for PDD. I suspect that the reason for this is that ABV has been positively linked to PDD, but doesn't always end in PDD. Perhaps it's the strain, or perhaps it's an HIV/AIDS sort of relationship. In any case, I thought there were false positives and false negatives. Do any of you have credible resources that say whether or not a negative for ABV is a firm negative for PDD?
 

roxynoodle

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My vet told me this week that the test for ABV can have false positives, but a negative is a firm negative for PDD. I suspect that the reason for this is that ABV has been positively linked to PDD, but doesn't always end in PDD. Perhaps it's the strain, or perhaps it's an HIV/AIDS sort of relationship. In any case, I thought there were false positives and false negatives. Do any of you have credible resources that say whether or not a negative for ABV is a firm negative for PDD?
My vet feels the DNA ABV test is very accurate. Or at least Merlin's was sent to the researcher at the University of Tennessee who developed that method. She didn't necessarily trust any other lab to do it.

I know testing feces is quite a gamble though. The virus is very unstable and doesn't live long outside of the host. She said when they first started seeing it they called it a "ghost virus" because they would see it in the feces sample and then just a short time later it would be gone.

If you would like, I will ask her for you. She was a researcher on ABV/PDD and is still in contact with her fellow researchers at UT. She also speaks at conferences about it to other avian vets, so I consider her information to be up to date and accurate.
 

jmfleish

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The title of this thread is very, very misleading. Avian Bornavirus (ABV) is NOT interchangeable with Proventricular Dilation Disease (PDD). They are two totally different beasts and just because a bird tests for ABV does not mean that it will ever develop PDD. I would be more than willing to do a write up on the two of these if the moderators would like but I do think that everyone on this board really needs to understand the difference between the two.
 

allison

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I agree with Jen. It's not known for sure if ABV and PDD are even connected.
 

Sandy E

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the only way to detect this virus is only thru blood testing. it is not discuverable in poop, crop culturals or by feather cliping. only blood test.
Sandy E
 

waterfaller1

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Welcome to AA Sandy. Please tell us about yourself in our welcome forum.:hug8:
 
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