Archives of Virology

, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 339–344 | Cite as

Beak and feather disease virus: correlation between viral load and clinical signs in wild Cape parrots (Poicepahlus robustus) in South Africa

  • Guy L. Regnard
  • Rutledge S. Boyes
  • Rowan O. Martin
  • Inga I. HitzerothEmail author
  • Edward P. Rybicki
Brief Report


Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), the most prevalent viral disease affecting psittacines, is caused by beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). This study assessed viral load using qPCR in a wild Cape parrot population affected by PBFD and compared it to overall physical condition based on clinical signs attributable to PBFD. A significant inverse correlation between viral load and overall physical condition was found, which confirmed that clinical signs may confidently be used to diagnose the relative severity of BFDV infections in wild populations. This is the first assessment of BFDV viral load in a wild psittacine population.


Psittacine beak and feather disease Beak and feather disease virus BFDV Viral load Cape parrot 



This work was supported by funding from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and National Geographic Society. The authors gratefully acknowledge David Mutepfa and David Nkosi for technical assistance, and the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation (PRF), the Harry Crossley Foundation as well as the NRF for student funding for Guy Regnard. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at are those of the authors and are not necessarily to be attributed to the NRF.

Supplementary material

705_2014_2225_MOESM1_ESM.rar (359 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (RAR 359 kb)
705_2014_2225_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (110 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy L. Regnard
    • 1
  • Rutledge S. Boyes
    • 2
  • Rowan O. Martin
    • 2
  • Inga I. Hitzeroth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edward P. Rybicki
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Biopharming Research Unit, Department of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African OrnithologyUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape TownObservatorySouth Africa

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