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Aust Vet J. 1993 Apr;70(4):133-7.

Laboratory diagnosis of psittacine beak and feather disease by haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition.

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Department of Animal Health, University of Sydney, Camden, New South Wales.


Simple and sensitive haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition assays were developed for psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) virus and serum antibody, respectively. The assays were used in the examination of samples from 73 birds clinically affected with PBFD. High antigen titres (log2 9 to log2 12) were detected in feathers, faeces and cloacal contents of PBFD-affected birds. Antigen was not detected in either faecal or feather samples from 20 normal galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) and 9 normal sulphur crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). After kaolin treatment and haemadsorption of serum, haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titres could not be detected in serum from 42 PBFD-affected birds, whereas serum HI titres from 64 normal psittacine birds ranged from less than log2 1 to log2 8. Serum and yolk HI antibody responses of 6 PBFD virus-inoculated layer hens were measured. Pre-inoculation chicken sera contained high concentrations of non-specific haemagglutination inhibitors (not detected in chloroform-extracted yolk), which were removed by kaolin treatment and haemadsorption.

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