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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


LAST, Robert D.; WEISSENBOCK, Herbert; NEDOROST, Nora  and  SHIVAPRASAD, H.L.. Avian bornavirus genotype 4 recovered from naturally infected psittacine birds with proventricular dilatation disease in South Africa. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2012, vol.83, n.1, pp.66-70. ISSN 2224-9435.

The occurrence of proventricular dilatation disease caused by avian bornavirus (ABV) in captive psittacine birds has long been suspected in South Africa. This report documents the first detection by polymerase chain reaction and gene sequence analyses of ABV from three clinical cases of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) in captive bred blue and gold macaws (Araara rauna) resident in this country. Lymphoplasmacytic encephalitis, gastrointestinal myenteric gangioneuritis and leiomyositis were the most prominent histopathological changes and ABV genotype 4 was detected in tissues from all three birds. Immunohistochemical stains for ABV antigen revealed positive labelling of neurons and glial cells of the brain, myenteric ganglia and nerve fibres as well as smooth muscle cells of the gastrointestinal tract of all three birds. In one bird, positive labelling of the peripheral nerves was observed. The identical sequence of the analaysed genome fragment of all three samples, history that all of these birds had originated from the same breeding facility, and young age at presentation raise the question of possible vertical transmission.

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