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   Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) (micro-organism)
Ecology Distribution Management
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         Management Information

    Preventative measures: A killed-virus vaccine has been developed which stimulates immunity to the BFDV in normal healthy birds. Pet birds can be vaccinated when they are as young as 14 days old. There is a requirement of a booster dose a month after the first vaccination. Breeding birds can be vaccinated a month before breeding. After this pet birds should be examined every six months until they are 3 years of age (Raidal, 2004).

    Rahaus and Wolff (2003) suggest that, "In order to stem the spread of BFDV inside captive bird populations, an improved combination of monitoring and quarantine seems to be necessary... Additionally, this monitoring could help in detecting birds in the viral incubation phase." Todd (2000) states that, "Captive birds can be kept free from infection by restricting their exposure to infected birds or virus-contaminated environments such as cages."

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2004) states that, "BFDV is difficult to inactivate and is likely to persist in the environment for years, so the underpinnings of control in threatened species are effective diagnosis, monitoring, quarantine and vaccination. Disinfection of nest boxes when disease already exists is another important aspect of control, at least until a suitable vaccine is available. Identifying and managing the environmental factors that predispose to the development of disease may also assist in controlling the threat of this disease. Quarantine periods exceeding six months may be required, with diagnostic tests being carried out at 90 day intervals."

         Location Specific Management Information
    BFDV affecting endangered psittacine species' was listed in April 2001 as a key threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2004). The Australian Government provides funding to implement the threat abatement plans for each key threatening process. These plans provide a national framework for the research, management and other actions necessary. A threat abatement plans is in place for BFDV.
    The threat abatement plan, has two goals: 1) To ensure that BFD does not increase the likelihood of extinction or escalate the threatened status of psittacine birds; and 2) To minimise the likelihood of BFD becoming a key threatening process for other psittacine species.The objectives of the plan are to coordinate a national approach to the management of the disease; support and promote research; develop and implement national management strategies to control the diease; monitor the disease in psittacine populations and share the information with all concerned for better results (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005).
    Please see Threat Abatement Plan for Beak and feather disease affecting endangered psittacine species

         Management Resources/Links

    1. Bert, E., Tomassone, L., Peccati, C., Navarrete, M. G. & Sola, S.C., 2005. Detection of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and avian polyomavirus (APV) DNA in Psittacine Birds in Italy. J Vet Med B 52, 64–68.
    2. Commonwealth of Australia. 2004. Draft Threat Abatement Plan for Psittacine Circoviral (Beak and Feather) Disease Affecting Endangered Psittacine Species. Department of the Environment and Heritage.
    3. Dahlhausen, B. & Radabaugh, S., 1993. Update on Psittacine beak and feather disease and avian poloymavirus testing. Proceeding of association of avian veterinarians. Nashvile, TN, pp 5-7.
    8. Raidal, S. R. & Cross, G. M., 1994. Control by vaccination of psittacine beak and feather disease in a mixed flock of Agapornis species. Aust Vet Pract 24, 178–180.
    9. Raidal, S. R., Sabine, M. & Cross, G. M., 1993. Laboratory diagnosis of psittacine beak and feather disease by haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition. Aust Vet J 70, 133-137.
    10. Raidal, S.R., Firth G.A. and Cross G.M. 1993a. Vaccination and challenge studies with psittacine beak and feather disease virus. Australian Veterinary Journal 70: 437-441.
    11. Raidal, S.R., McElnea C.L. and Cross G.M. 1993b. Seroprevalence of psittacine beak and feather disease in wild psittacine birds in New South Wales. Australian Veterinary Journal 70: 137-139.
    12. Raidal, S.R., Sabine M. and Cross G.M. 1993c. Laboratory diagnosis of psittacine beak and feather disease by haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition. Australian Veterinary Journal 70: 133-137.
    13. Riddoch, P. A., Raidal, S. R. & Cross, G. M., 1996. Psittacine circovirus antibody detection and an update on the methods for diagnosis of psittacine beak and feather disease. Aust Vet Pract 26, 134.
    14. Ritchie P. A., Anderson, I. L. & Lambert, D. M., 2003. Evidence for specificity of psittacine beak and feather disease viruses among avian hosts. Virol 1, 109-115.
    15. Ritchie, B. W., Niagro, F. D., Latimer, K. S. Steffens, W. l., Pesti, D. & Lukert, P. D., 1991a. Haemagglutination by psittacine beak and feather disease virus and use of hemagglutination inhibition for detection of antibodies against the virus. Am J Vet Res 52, 1810-1815.
    16. Sanada, N. & Sanada, Y., 2000. The sensitivities of various erythrocytes in a haemagglutination assay for the detection of psittacine beak and feather disease virus. J Vet Med 47, 441-443.
    17. Todd, D. 2000. Circoviruses: Immunosuppressive threats to avian species: A review. Avian-Pathology. 2000; 29(5): 373-394.
    18. Ypelaar, I., M. R. Bassami, G. E. Wilcox, and S. R. Raidal. 1999. A universal polymerase chain reaction for the detection of psittacine beak and feather disease virus. Veterinary-Microbiology. 1999; 68(1-2): 141-148.

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ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland