Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD)

Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a viral disease that can affect all psittacine birds and possibly, Doves. The virus attacks the cells of the immune system and those which produce feather and beak. Affected birds gradually lose their feathers and develop beak abnormalities. Because the virus attacks the immune system, affected birds succumb to infection by other secondary diseases/infections.

PBFD is extremely contagious and there is no known cure. Birds carrying this disease may not show any symptoms until stress brings it out, but they may infect other birds before they become symptomatic.

Incubation of the virus can be as short as three weeks, depending on the amount of virus the bird was infected by, the age and the health status of the bird.

Visual symptoms include feather abnormalities, beak abnormalities and missing feathers and occurs normally in young birds but can also be found in older birds. Some birds die from the disease before showing the above symptoms. Loss of appetite, diarrhea and regurgitation may be the only signs of illness. Often death is caused by a secondary infection due to the reduced immunity caused by PBFD.

Modes of transmission includes:
  • Ingestion or inhalation from infected material such as faeces, feather dust, crop secretions and from infected surfaces or equipment.
  • Vertical transmission from hen to egg embryo.

Simply Science offers DNA PCR test to detect the PBFD virus. Results will be provided within 3 to 5 working days.

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