Avian Borna virus (ABV) Avian Borna Disease (ABD) Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) from Avian Biotech.com

Avian Borna virus (ABV) Avian Borna Disease (ABD) Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) from Avian Biotech.com

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!!

4 thoughts on “Avian Borna virus (ABV) Avian Borna Disease (ABD) Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) from Avian Biotech.com

  1. My dear little cockatiel just died of PDD and I’m heartbroken. He was only about 10 months old. I feel so guilty because he always seemed so healthy, but we boarded him (in his own cage) but around other birds for 3 weekends in Sept when my daughter had a baby. Thought it was too stressful to have him traveling, but now I’m afraid he contracted the disease there. After the 3rd visit, he started acting not himself so took him to the vet who xrayed him & said he had PDD. He survived about 2 weeks on antibiotics then started losing weight rapidly. Tried to force feed him, but he hated the dropper so much it seemed cruel to continue. He actually took in only of fraction of what he needed to survive, So I held him almost constantly for 3 days until he died. He mostly slept but got up periodically to walk around & drink water, eat a little. I just pray he wasn’t suffering too much & would rather have died in my arms, at home, rather than having a painful needle. Never knew he could get an incurable & fatal disease so quickly & die so fast. I wish someone had warned my not to board my bird EVER!! Now I’m left with my grief & guilt over losing a bird that should have outlived me!

    • I am so very sorry for your loss hun ❤ Loosing a feathered one is so hard, those of us with birds are the only ones who understand our attachment and love for these precious Angels. I am positive that he preferred seeing your face and feeling your love as he passed ❤

      I cannot attest to any facts on how quickly PDD can progress, but I imagine it can be different for each bird as many diseases are for us. You had no way of knowing and that is why there is so much more we must learn about the parrots in captivity. Also your precious one could have been exposed to this as a baby and it just took months for it to become active. Some birds are carriers and never actually have the disease. PDD is not fully understood by the experts yet, they are still learning and hopefully one day they can find a cure for this very horrible disease.

      I do want to take a moment and warn anyone who is considering boarding your birds, please ask to see medical records on all the birds in the facility / home. Also anyone boarding your birds should be asking you for the same thing to make sure that their birds wont catch anything. However there is no vaccine to prevent PDD, no screening test to detect birds that are carrying it and no real “cure” for birds that have developed clinical signs of the disease. While many avian veterinarians believe it is a virus. Others speculate that PDD could be caused by another type of pathogen, an allergic reaction to something in the environment, an immune reaction to a protein that’s been ingested, or there could be a genetic link that predisposes some birds to the disease. Current information seems to lead one to believe that an exposed bird can break down weeks after exposure or can harbor the disease for several years.

      This is another reason I caution anyone going to bird fairs or places where there are other birds. This disease can be transmitted on your person and brought back to your own birds. Should you go anywhere like mentioned, you must practice very careful care in removing all clothing after and washing them and yourself immediately before coming into the air space of your own birds.

      My love goes out to you,

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words. We sure do miss him!
    Hope any future mama’s & papa’s of these little ones will heed your words.
    Your explanation was very good & concise. I will print it out to give to my friends with birds. As I look back on his pictures, while he always looked healthy, I think he was always a little underweight and slight. Wish I had known more about birds to be checking his keel bone for muscle mass. Hopefully I will be able to advise my great niece who just got a pretty little cockatiel.
    (3 days & still crying)

    • Again….I am so sorry for your loss. Together we learn and with each of us we pass on as much learning and education as we can to hopefully save another one. So Thank you so much for sharing your story and loss and hopefully another Angel might be saved ❤


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