US researchers have developed a highly effective vaccine against PDD

November 9th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
US researchers have developed a highly effective vaccine against PDD

Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) caused by Avian Bornavirus is one of the most lethal diseases in parrots. However, a team of scientists (Drs. Ian Tizard, Jianhua Guo, Susan Payne, and Samer Hameed) at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) has developed a new vaccine. Texas A&M University informed about this news on their official website.

This research centre is focused on avian medicine and besides parrot work also with water bird, quails and cranes. “Proventricular Dilatation disease is an especially nasty infection that kills large numbers of captive birds each year,” said Dr. Ian Tizard, the head of research team. “Parrot owners are naturally very distressed when their beloved pet dies in such a manner. The new vaccine is expected to stop the development of this disease and prevent much suffering.”


When is the vaccine going to be introduced into the commercial market?

PDD was firstly described in 1970 as the Macaw Wasting Syndrom. The cure is always very difficult and it can be tricky to recognize an affected bird.

“Unfortunately, you will find out this disease firstly when the bird is already apathetic. Consequently, it’s necessary to take a sample of the stomach mucous membrane and make the histological examination. Condition of such bird can change fast so you have beautiful strong bird one day and suddenly it dies. There are many diseases which can’t be solved preventively,” said Dr Markéta Hašlová from Veterinární klinika Trnová to

At this moment, it’s necessary to find USDA licensure and then manufacture the new vaccine commercially. However, this byrocratic process needs a lot of time and can be more prolonged. So parrot owners and breeders will have to wait a few more years to get desirable vaccine.

Proventricular dilatation disease is not present only in captivity but in the wild as well. In the last year there was a study published in scientific magazine which brings data about occurrence of  Avian Bornavirus in Brazilian psittacines and fourty of all 86 collected samples had signs of ABV infection.


Title photo: (c) Lubomir Tomiska


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