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Beak and feather disease virus in wild and captive parrots: an analysis of geographic and taxonomic distribution and methodological trends

Fogell, Deborah J., Martin, Rowan O., Groombridge, Jim J.
Archives of virology 2016 v.161 no.8 pp. 2059-2074
Beak and feather disease virus, aviculture, beak, diagnostic techniques, epidemiological studies, flocks, immunologic techniques, parrots, screening, trade, viruses, Africa, Asia, North America, South America
Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) has emerged in recent years as a major threat to wild parrot populations and is an increasing concern to aviculturists and managers of captive populations. Pathological and serological tests for screening for the presence of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) are a critical component of efforts to manage the disease and of epidemiological studies. Since the disease was first reported in the mid-1970s, screening for BFDV has been conducted in numerous wild and captive populations. However, at present, there is no current and readily accessible synthesis of screening efforts and their results. Here, we consolidate information collected from 83 PBFD- and BFDV-based publications on the primary screening methods being used and identify important knowledge gaps regarding potential global disease hotspots. We present trends in research intensity in this field and critically discuss advances in screening techniques and their applications to both aviculture and to the management of threatened wild populations. Finally, we provide an overview of estimates of BFDV prevalence in captive and wild flocks alongside a complete list of all psittacine species in which the virus has been confirmed. Our evaluation highlights the need for standardised diagnostic tests and more emphasis on studies of wild populations, particularly in view of the intrinsic connection between global trade in companion birds and the spread of novel BFDV strains into wild populations. Increased emphasis should be placed on the screening of captive and wild parrot populations within their countries of origin across the Americas, Africa and Asia.