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Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) prevalence, load and excretion in seven species of wild caught common Australian parrots

Martens, Johanne M., Stokes, Helena S., Berg, Mathew L., Walder, Ken, Raidal, Shane R., Magrath, Michael J. L. and Bennett, Andy T. D. 2020, Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) prevalence, load and excretion in seven species of wild caught common Australian parrots, Plos One, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0235406.

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Title Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) prevalence, load and excretion in seven species of wild caught common Australian parrots
Author(s) Martens, Johanne M.
Stokes, Helena S.
Berg, Mathew L.ORCID iD for Berg, Mathew L. orcid.org/0000-0002-5774-3089
Walder, KenORCID iD for Walder, Ken orcid.org/0000-0002-6758-4763
Raidal, Shane R.
Magrath, Michael J. L.
Bennett, Andy T. D.ORCID iD for Bennett, Andy T. D. orcid.org/0000-0001-8512-2805
Journal name Plos One
Volume number 15
Issue number 7
Article ID e0235406
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2020-07
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Pathogens pose a major risk to wild host populations, especially in the face of ongoing biodiversity declines. Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) can affect most if not all members of one of the largest and most threatened bird orders world-wide, the Psittaciformes. Signs of disease can be severe and mortality rates high. Its broad host range makes it a risk to threatened species in particular, because infection can occur via spill-over from abundant hosts. Despite these risks, surveillance of BFDV in locally abundant wild host species has been lacking. We used qPCR and haemagglutination assays to investigate BFDV prevalence, load and shedding in seven abundant host species in the wild in south-east Australia: Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans), Eastern Rosellas (Platycercus eximius), Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus), Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), Blue-winged Parrots (Neophema chrysostoma), Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus moluccanus) and Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus). We found BFDV infection in clinically normal birds in six of the seven species sampled. We focused our analysis on the four most commonly caught species, namely Crimson Rosellas (BFDV prevalence in blood samples: 41.8%), Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (20.0%), Blue-winged Parrots (11.8%) and Galahs (8.8%). Species, but not sex, was a significant predictor for BFDV prevalence and load. 56.1% of BFDV positive individuals were excreting BFDV antigen into their feathers, indicative of active viral replication with shedding. Being BFDV positive in blood samples predicted shedding in Crimson Rosellas. Our study confirms that BFDV is endemic in our study region, and can inform targeted disease management by providing comparative data on interspecies variation in virus prevalence, load and shedding.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0235406
Indigenous content off
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30139753

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.