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First detection and molecular characterization of avian polyomavirus in young parrots in Pakistan

Aayesha Riaz, Arfan Yousaf, Muhammad Moaeen-ud-Din, Muhammad Ali Abdullah Shah, Tayyaba Zainab, Sadia Masood, Naeem Akhter, Adnan Ali
Veterinary research communications 2019 v.43 no.4 pp. 197-202
DNA, Psittacidae, animal viruses, aviaries, bird diseases, budgerigars, death, feathers, fledglings, genes, heart, kidneys, liver, nestlings, parrots, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, spleen, Pakistan
Avian polyomavirus (APV) infection, also called as budgerigar fledgling disease (BFD) causes various health problems in many psittacine species which may cause untimely death. The aims of this study were to investigate, for the first time, the detection, molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of avian polyomavirus (APV) in Pakistani psittacine birds. In an aviary a disease similar to APV was found and 90% of the nestlings died within a few weeks. Seven to ten-day-old parrot nestlings (n = 3) from the aviary were presented with feather abnormalities, plumage defect and were clinically depressed. Birds died at 11th, 14th and 16th day of age. Samples of hearts, livers, spleen, feathers and kidneys were collected from the dead birds. Samples were analyzed for the presence of APV DNA by using PCR. APV VP1 gene was partially sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis was performed. The APV strain was similar to those previously reported in other areas of the world. The results of this investigation indicate presence of a high frequency of APV infections in psittacine birds in Pakistan.