Bornavirus transmission is not well understood. Bornavirus is thought to be primarily transferred from one individual to another through direct or intimate contact, or by exposure to infected fecal material. Avian Biotech is currently studying ABV transmission from an infected female to an egg and performing testing to determine embryonic infection of ABV. Additional work is being done to study ABV-specific antibody levels in the yolk of an egg laid by an infected bird. ABI is also studying cellular transmission and variations in specific ABV protein expression from one individual to another.
Signs suggestive of PDD include weight loss over a period of weeks to months despite a good appetite, passage of undigested food, vomiting, abdominal distention, and impaction of the crop and proventriculus.
Neurological signs include intermittent shaking of the bird’s head, feather plucking and mutilation, problems with balance, moaning or crying due to digestive problems, change in aggression, and seizures. Some or all of these signs may or may not be present.
It is also important to note that in many cases birds infected with ABV may not develop any symptoms of ABD or PDD for years or even decades before the onset of disease. It is still unknown if a percentage of birds may never develop any symptoms of disease but may continue to function as a reservoir for ABV and allow the virus to infect other birds.
In 2010 ABI began testing a sub-unit vaccine to prevent the spread of the disease and the results are looking very promising.
To disinfect areas that may have been contaminated by bornavirus, use an oxidizer solution such as diluted bleach: 50 parts water to 1 part bleach, plus a small amount of dish soap as a wetting agent.
There are no known treatments for ABV infections. ABI is looking forward to conducting experimental treatments using ABI’s own parrot-specific gamma and alpha interferon, as well as combining these cytokins with specific anti-viral drugs.
Complete ABV/PDD panel!!