Forensic genetic evidence of beak and feather disease virus in a Powerful Owl, Ninox strenua

Subir Sarker, Chris Lloyd, Jade Forwood, Shane Raidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), which causes psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), is known to infect a wide range of bird species, with all members of the Psittaciformes recognised as being susceptible. Across the world, genetically distinct circovirus species cause feather disease akin to PBFD in the Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), as well as a wide range of columbids, anatids and lariids. Until recently, BFDV was thought to be restricted to Psittaciformes, with a rich viral genetic diversity present in parrots and their allies throughout Australia. The possibility of rare spill-over infection of BFDV into non-psittacine birds has the potential to reveal insights into the disease ecology of PBFD and the ontology of BFDV. In this paper we report evidence of BFDV infection in a Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), which had feather lesions characteristic of PBFD. Analysis of the BFDV genome associated with the infection revealed lorikeets, which are known prey items of Powerful Owls, to be a likely source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Grant Number

  • FT120100242


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