Avian Polyomavirus, Budgeriger Fledgling Disease Virus (BFDV)
Bloodfeathers or blood (in EDTA or just a drop on a sterile swab), feathers
Duration of the investigation:
One to two days after receiving the sample
A fulminating high mortality of the nestlings is characteristic of an acute polyomavirus infection. The disease can occur without any clinical symptoms but can lead to death of the birds within 24 hours, too.
Young birds surviving the disease often develop chronic illness resulting in permanent malformations of feathers and thereby in disability to fly. Latent polyomavirus-infections can be reactivated during times of stress.
An infection may be caused by feather dust, feces and droppings mainly. Parents may infect their offspring through regurgitation of food via exfoliated crop cells too.
A confirmed diagnosis is possible by detecting the virus DNA from feathers, bloodfeathers and blood samples. All birds newly integrated into the livestock should be tested for already existing infections.