Avian Bornavirus and Proventricular Dilatation Disease: Facts, Questions, and Controversies

Key Points

  • Avian bornavirus has been shown to be a cause of the disease syndrome formerly known as proventricular dilatation disease or PDD.
  • Avian bornavirus is a labile virus, susceptible to most disinfectants, detergents, and ultraviolet light.
  • Birds can harbor asymptomatic avian bornavirus infection.
  • The avian bornavirus is intermittently shed in feces and urates.
  • Clinical disease develops secondary to the body’s response to infection, as lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltrate develops in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and is frequently described as neuropathic ganglioneuritis.
  • Progression of clinical disease, or neuropathic ganglioneuritis, can be slow or quite rapid.
  • The clinical signs of neuropathic ganglioneuritis typically vary from primarily gastrointestinal, primarily neurological, or both gastrointestinal and neurological.
  • Definitive diagnosis is challenging antemortem, but typically relies upon a combination of PCR and serology.
  • Whenever possible, isolation of infected birds is recommended; culling of infected birds is NOT recommended.

Proventricular dilatation disease or PDD is one of the most frustrating avian conditions encountered today. The recent discovery of a causal relationship between PDD and avian bornavirus has not simplified the challenges that are faced. The detection of avian bornavirus infection is common in birds with PDD but is also detected in birds with other chronic diseases that are not diagnosed with PDD. Proventricular dilatation disease was first reported in the late 1970s . . .

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Further Reading

Berhane Y, Smith D, Newman S, et al. Peripheral neuritis in psittacine birds with proventricular dilatation disease. Avian Pathol 30(5):563–567, 2001.

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Dahlhausen R, Aldred S, Colaizzi E. Resolution of clinical proventricular dilatation disease by cyclooxygenase 2 inhibition. Proc Annu Conf Assoc Avian Vet 2002:9–12.

Daoust PY, Julian RJ, Yason CV, et al. Proventricular impaction associated with nonsuppurative encephalomyelitis and ganglioneuritis in 2 Canada geese. J Wildl Dis 27(3):513–517, 1991.

Delnatte P, Berkvens C, Kummrow M, et al. New genotype of avian bornavirus in wild geese and trumpeter swans in Canada. Vet Rec 169(4):108, 2011.

Enderlein D, Encinas-Nagel N, Rubbenstroth D, et al. Infections with avian bornavirus in free-ranging psittacines. Proc Int Conf Avian, Herpetological and Exotic Mammal Medicine 2013:349-350.

Perpiñán D, Fernández-Bellon H, López C, Ramis A. Lymphocytic myenteric, subepicardial and pulmonary ganglioneuritis in four nonpsittacine birds. J Avian Med Surg 21(3):210-214, 2007.

Rubbenstroth D, Schmidt V, Ridner M, et al. Discovery of a new avian bornavirus genotype in estrildid finches (Estrildidae) in Germany. Vet Microbiol Dec 16 2013 [Epub ahead of print].

Sassa Y, Horie M, Fujino K, et al. Molecular epidemiology of avian bornavirus from pet birds in Japan. Virus Genes 47(1):173-177, 2013.

Shivaprasad HL. Proventricular dilatation disease in a Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Proc Annu Conf Assoc Avian Vet 2005:107-108.

To cite this page:

Hoppes S, Pollock C. Avian bornavirus and proventricular dilitation disease: Facts, questions, and controversies. July 17, 2014. LafeberVet Web site. Available at https://lafeber.com/vet/avian-bornavirus-primer/