Are anti-ganglioside antibodies associated with proventricular dilatation disease in birds? Academic Article uri icon


  • The identification of Parrot bornaviruses (PaBV) in psittacine birds with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) has not been sufficient to explain the pathogenesis of this fatal disease, since not all infected birds develop clinical signs. Although the most accepted theory indicates that PaBV directly triggers an inflammatory response in this disease, another hypothesis suggests the disease is triggered by autoantibodies targeting neuronal gangliosides, and PDD might therefore resemble Guillain-Barr Syndrome (GBS) in its pathogenesis. Experimental inoculation of pure gangliosides and brain-derived ganglioside extracts were used in two different immunization studies. The first study was performed on 17 healthy chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus): 11 chickens were inoculated with a brain ganglioside extract in Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) and six chickens inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline. A second study was performed five healthy quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) that were divided into three groups: Two quaker parrots received purified gangliosides in FCA, two received a crude brain extract in FCA, and one control quaker parrot received FCA alone. One chicken developed difficult in walking. Histologically, only a mild perivascular and perineural lymphocytic infiltrate in the proventriculus. Two quaker parrots (one from each treatment group) had mild lymphoplasmacytic encephalitis and myelitis. However, none of the quaker parrots developed myenteric ganglioneuritis, suggesting that autoantibodies against gangliosides in birds are not associated with a condition resembling PDD.

published proceedings

  • PeerJ

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Leal de Araujo, J., Tizard, I., Guo, J., Heatley, J. J., Rodrigues Hoffmann, A., & Rech, R. R.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Leal de Araujo, Jeann||Tizard, Ian||Guo, Jianhua||Heatley, J Jill||Rodrigues Hoffmann, Aline||Rech, Raquel R

publication date

  • January 2017


published in