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Evidence of psittacine beak and feather disease virus spillover into wild critically endangered orange-bellied parrots (Neophema chrysogaster)


Peters, A and Patterson, EI and Baker, BGB and Holdsworth, M and Sarker, S and Ghorashi, SA and Raidal, SR, Evidence of psittacine beak and feather disease virus spillover into wild critically endangered orange-bellied parrots (Neophema chrysogaster), Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 50, (2) pp. 288-296. ISSN 0090-3558 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 Wildlife Disease Association

DOI: doi:10.7589/2013-05-121


We report the recent emergence of a novel beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) genotype in the last remaining wild population of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster). This virus poses a significant threat to the recovery of the species and potentially its survival in the wild. We used PCR to detect BFDV in the blood of three psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) –affected wild Orange-bellied Parrot fledglings captured as founders for an existing captive breeding recovery program. Complete BFDV genome sequence data from one of these birds demonstrating a 1,993-nucleotide-long read encompass the entire circular genome. Maximum-likelihood (ML) and neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic analysis supported the solitary position of this viral isolate in a genetically isolated branch of BFDV. On Rep gene sequencing, a homologous genotype was present in a second wild orange-bellied parrot and the third bird was infected with a distantly related genotype. These viruses have newly appeared in a population that has been intensively monitored for BFDV for the last 13 yr. The detection of two distinct lineages of BFDV in the remnant wild population of Orange-bellied Parrots, consisting of fewer than 50 birds, suggests a role for other parrot species as a reservoir for infection by spillover into this critically endangered species. The potential for such a scenario to contribute to the extinction of a remnant wild animal population is supported by epidemiologic theory.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:circovirus, PBFD, psittacine beak and feather disease, threatened species, wildlife disease
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Baker, BGB (Dr Barry Baker)
ID Code:91554
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:53
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-05-21
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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