Avian polyomavirus infection and disease in a green aracaris (Pteroglossus viridis). Academic Article uri icon


  • Avian polyomavirus (APV) is one of the most significant pathogens of domestically raised psittacine birds (parrots). One or more APVs are suspected to infect nonpsittacine cage birds, but the relationship of these viruses to the APV infecting parrots remains unclear. In this report, for the first time, we fully document an APV infection in a nonpsittacine cage bird, a green aracaris (Pteroglossus viridis). Grossly, this bird evidenced generalized hemorrhage. Histologically, there was severe hepatic necrosis, splenic necrosis, and the presence of lightly basophilic to clear pannuclear inclusion bodies and karyomegaly in splenocytes and renal mesangeal cells, all characteristic lesions of APV infection in parrots. APV DNA was amplified directly from the liver by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. The virus differed from the original APV sequence by only 24 base pairs (0.48% of the genome), demonstrating that it is a variant of the APV. A serologic survey of the remaining birds in the aviary demonstrated anti-APV antibody in two cockatoos, two cockatiels, a laughing kookaburra, a Lady Ross turaco, and five zebra finches. The remaining green aracaris was seronegative. The sequence and serologic data suggest that the APV that infected the green aracaris originated in a parrot and was capable of infecting birds from at least four orders.

published proceedings

  • Avian Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Lafferty, S. L., Fudge, A. M., Schmidt, R. E., Wilson, V. G., & Phalen, D. N.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Lafferty, SL||Fudge, AM||Schmidt, RE||Wilson, VG||Phalen, DN

publication date

  • July 1999