High resolution structural insights of beak and feather disease virus enabled new approaches to vaccine development towards the critically endangered Orange-bellied parrot

    Impact: Environmental Impact

    Impact summary

    Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a chronic and ultimately fatal disease in Parrots, including critically endangered and threatened bird species. It is caused by the beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). The last remaining populations of orange-bellied parrots are hampered by PBFD, which is considered a key threatening process to at least 16 endangered and vulnerable bird species in Australia.

    In 2016, a research team solved the structure of the virus at high resolution using the Australian synchrotron, confirming that recombinant production of the capsid protein from the virus is amenable to vaccine development. The vaccine development has been funded by the Australian Government Threatened Species Recovery Fund.
    Impact date20132019
    Category of impactEnvironmental Impact
    Impact levelBenefit


    • parrots
    • beak and feather disease
    • threatened species
    • virology

    Countries where impact occurred

    • Australia