Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

An outbreak of Pacheco's parrot disease in psittacine birds recently imported to Campania, Italy: isolation of psittacid herpesvirus 2.

Abstract

In February 1993 a shipment of 93 psittacine birds was imported to Italy from Guyana. The shipment consisted of 20 brown-throated conures (Aratinga pertinax), 10 blue and yellow macaws (Ara ararauna), 10 green-winged macaws (Ara chloroptera), 9 red-bellied macaws (Ara manilata), 10 mealy Amazon parrots (Amazona farinosa), 6 yellow-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona ocrocephala), 12 blue-headed parrots (Pionus menstruus), 6 black-headed caique parrots (Pionites melanocephala), 6 golden-winged parakeets (Brotogeris chrysopterus) and 4 hawkhead parrots (Deroptyus accipitrinus). Within 7 days of importation, 3 brown-throated conures suddenly died without symptoms, and within a week all the birds of the same species also died. Mortality was also reported, 9 days after importation, in blue-headed parrots, hawkhead parrots, mealy Amazon parrots and yellow-fronted Amazon parrots, again without symptoms. All of the birds of these species died in the following 10 days, except for 4 Amazon parrots. 10 days after importation, a therapy based upon acyclovir (Zovirax, 200 mg/100 ml of drinking water), vitamin C (50 mg/kg) and methionine (20 mg/kg) was administered to all the birds for 20 days. Three weeks after importation a green-winged macaw died and all the birds of the same species showed lethargy, ruffled feathers, and watery yellowish faeces. Neither morbidity nor mortality were observed in A. ararauna, A. manilata, B. chrysopterus and P. melanocephala. Psittacid Herpesvirus 2 was isolated from affected birds. The birds had been vaccinated with a vaccine containing Psittacid Herpesvirus type 1. It is suggested that a vaccine containing inactivated viruses of all known serotypes should be produced in order to protect psittacine birds from Pacheco's Parrot Disease efficiently.