Original Research

Beak and feather disease virus haemagglutinating activity using erythrocytes from African Grey parrots and Brown-headed parrots : research communication

K. Kondiah, J. Albertyn, R.R. Bragg
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 72, No 3 | a205 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v72i3.205 | © 2005 K. Kondiah, J. Albertyn, R.R. Bragg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 September 2005 | Published: 15 September 2005

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K. Kondiah,
J. Albertyn,
R.R. Bragg,

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Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a common viral disease of wild and captive psittacine birds characterized by symmetric feather loss and beak deformities. The causative agent, beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), is a small, circular single-stranded DNA virus that belongs to the genus Circovirus. BFDV can be detected by PCR or the use of haemagglutination (HA) and haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays that detect antigen and antibodies respectively. Erythrocytes from a limited number of psittacine species of Australian origin can be used in these tests. In South Africa, the high cost of these birds makes them difficult to obtain for experimental purposes. Investigation into the use of erythrocytes from African Grey parrots and Brown-headed parrots yielded positive results showing the haemagglutinating activity of their erythrocytes with purified BFDV obtained from confirmed clinical cases of the disease. The HA activity was further confirmed by the demonstration of HI using BFDV antiserum from three different African Grey parrots previously exposed to the virus and not showing clinical signs of the disease.


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