Polyomavirus (PVD) In Birds (Causes, Symptoms & Treatments)

French Bulldog Kennel Cough
French Bulldog Kennel Cough

Avian Polyomavirus, often known as Budgerigar Fledgling Disease (BFD), is a virus that is present in varying degrees all throughout the globe. Polyoma may be present in adult birds in a carrier condition, with animals seeming clinically normal until stressed. Polyoma seems to be most lethal in neonates (young birds) aged 15-56 days. Some infected birds perish without showing any indications of sickness. Others die within 12 to 48 hours after acquiring clinical indications. Depression, lack of appetite, weight loss, delayed crop emptying, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin bleeding are among the symptoms. Infected birds that do not display indications of illness (known as carriers) might provide a unique chance for the virus to spread.

Polyomavirus is hypothesized to be spread vertically as well as horizontally (bird to bird) (via the egg). This, however, has yet to be verified. Macaws, conures, Eclectus parrots, Ring-necked Parakeets, lovebirds, cockatiels, and budgies seem to be the most susceptible to Polyomavirus.

Chlamydia psittaci may infect birds of any size or age. Weight loss owing to liver illness, anorexia, hypothermia, lethargy, and yellowish-green gelatinous droppings are early clinical indications. Severe depression may ultimately lead to mortality in up to 40% of all cases. Chlamydia psittaci, on the other hand, may be efficiently treated with medicines if found early.

The majority of Chlamydia psittaci strains excreted by birds, as well as certain strains produced by animals, may cause illness in humans. Close personal contact with an infected bird, or inhalation of aerosols or dust carrying Chlamydia Psittaci, may cause infection in humans. For additional information about Chlamydia Psittaci, see your doctor.

Two kinds of samples may be presented when trying to identify Polyomavirus in live birds. The best approach for collecting samples of birds while they are shedding the virus is a cloacal swab or blood sample. To reduce the potential of environmental contamination, collect (250-500 ul) of blood through venipuncture using a sterile syringe before submitting a blood sample for testing. Use only swabs containing Modified Stuarts liquid transfer medium when submitting samples. Swabs of air ducts, cages, floors, and countertops are used to screen aviaries and their surroundings.

Quality samples are produced from cloacal or a mix of cloacal and coanal swabs in birds that are shedding Chlamydia or Polyoma. Swabs must be supplied in Modified Stuarts liquid transport medium.


Polyomavirus – A member of the papovavirus family, this virus is also known as Budgerigar Fledgling Disease. Polyoma virus has a 40-50 nm diameter and a double-stranded DNA genome of around 5000 base pairs.

This disease is regarded as one of the most serious hazards to cage birds worldwide. This extremely contagious illness affects the majority, if not all, parrot species. Polyoma seems to be particularly troublesome in neonates (young birds) aged 14-56 days. Young birds often perish, although older birds may gain some immunity. Polyoma is thought to have an incubation period of two weeks or less.


The illness may be passed from bird to bird by feather dust, excrement, aerosols, and parental feeding of chicks, as well as direct touch or exposure to contaminated settings (incubators, nest boxes)

Infected birds that do not show evident indications of illness are often responsible for transmitting the virus to an aviary or bird shop.

Adult birds may exhibit a carrier condition.


Swollen belly, sadness, lack of appetite, anorexia, weight loss, delayed crop emptying, regurgitation, diarrhea, dehydration, feather abnormalities, dyspnea, polyuria, ataxia, tremors, paralysis, and sudden death

Some birds perish without showing any clinical signs. Adult birds may perish as a result of secondary infection with a bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic disease.


Isolate all disease-bearing birds. Use an oxidizer, such as chlorine bleach, to disinfect any contaminated surfaces (Polyomavirus is resistant to many disinfectants).

*Alcohol is ineffective since it is not an oxidant.

A vaccination is available, but it may cost up to $40-60 per bird: booster doses are necessary every year, and the vaccine’s usefulness in younger birds is debatable.

All new birds should be quarantined, and nested primer PCR testing should be used to identify whether or not the birds are contaminated.


There is no recognized therapy at this time.


Histopathology, nested primer PCR testing, and sequence analysis of PDV DNA


When evaluating individual birds, a full blood sample combined with a cloacal swab is recommended when feasible. If the sample is positive, the bird should be quarantined and tested again in 4-6 weeks. A third test is indicated if the bird tests negative the second time.

Postmortem tissue samples from the liver, spleen, or kidney in a sterile container, as well as postmortem swabs, may be submitted.

Environmental testing, such as swabs of aviaries, worktops, fans, air filters, nest boxes, and so on, is particularly successful in detecting the presence of Polyoma DNA in the environment.

*When feasible, provide both whole blood and a cloacal swab sample for examination.


Prior to delivery, samples should be kept at 4 degrees Celsius (refrigerator). Samples should be sent in a padded envelope or box. Regular mail is OK for sending samples, however, overnight delivery is preferred.


Prior vaccination of birds with a deadly virus or DNA vaccine has no effect on the accuracy of a PCR test.

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