Use of avian bornavirus isolates to induce proventricular dilatation disease in conures.
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Avian bornavirus (ABV) is a newly discovered member of the family Bornaviridae that has been associated with the development of a lethal neurologic syndrome in birds, termed proventricular dilatation disease (PDD). We successfully isolated and characterized ABV from the brains of 8 birds with confirmed PDD. One isolate was passed 6 times in duck embryo fibroblasts, and the infected cells were then injected intramuscularly into 2 healthy Patagonian conures (Cyanoliseus patagonis). Clinical PDD developed in both birds by 66 days postinfection. PDD was confirmed by necropsy and histopathologic examination. Reverse transcription-PCR showed that the inoculated ABV was in the brains of the 2 infected birds. A control bird that received uninfected tissue culture cells remained healthy until it was euthanized at 77 days. Necropsy and histopathologic examinations showed no abnormalities; PCR did not indicate ABV in its brain tissues.