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Open Access Histopathology and the detection of avian bornavirus in the nervous system of birds diagnosed with proventricular dilatation disease

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Avian bornavirus (ABV) is currently considered a probable etiologic agent of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) of psittacines. We tested 24 stored avian brain samples, processed for histopathology and retained following their submission for necropsy or histopathology to the Schubot Exotic Bird Center diagnostic laboratory in 1992. Thirteen of these samples were from birds diagnosed at that time as suffering from PDD. The remaining 11 samples were diagnosed as suffering from diseases other than PDD. Immunohistochemistry was performed using an antiserum directed against the ABV nucleoprotein (N-protein). Stained slides were read by an investigator unaware of their prior histopathology results. Cells containing ABV N-protein were present in the nervous tissues of all 13 PDD cases. One bird not previously diagnosed with PDD also had ABV N-protein in its brain. A review of this bird's necropsy report indicated that it was, most probably, also suffering from PDD. The remaining 10 non-PDD birds had no detectable N-protein in their brains. The N-protein was present in the cerebrum, cerebellum and spinal cord. These findings support other studies that indicate that ABV is an etiological agent of PDD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA 2: Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and The Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA 3: Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, Texas, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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