psittacine beak and feather disease

Encyclopedia

psittacine beak and feather disease

debilitating disease of birds cause by a circovirus that infects wild and domestic psittaciforms such as macaws, parrots, cockatoos, and parakeets; cockatoos are especially susceptible. The causative agent is one of the smallest known pathogenic viruses. The name of the disease arises from the beak malformations (rare) and feather abnormalities and loss noted as signs of infection. Suppression of the immune system also occurs and leads to infection by other pathogenic organisms, which contributes to the high mortality associated with this disease. Some birds that are infected at an early age may not show signs of the disease until later in life. Diagnosis is aided by use of virus-specific DNA probes, but there are no effective treatments. The disease is best avoided by acquiring birds from flocks known to be free of infection.

Learn more about psittacine beak and feather disease with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: psittacine
Next Definition: psittacinite
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for psittacine beak and feather disease
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing psittacine beak and feather disease
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature