New vaccine would combat lethal disease affecting captive parrots

two parrots on a  tree branch

Image:  College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Researchers at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences have developed a highly effective vaccine against a lethal virus disease of captive parrots. The disease, called proventricular dilatation disease, results in blindness, heart failure or intestinal blockage.

The investigators — Ian Tizard, Jianhua Guo, Susan Payne, and Samer Hameed — work at the college’s Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center. The research receives support from the Schubot Center and the college. The center conducts research to improve the health of captive and wild birds. While focusing on diseases of parrots, investigators at the center are also studying diseases of water birds, quail and cranes.

The next steps are  to seek USDA licensure and then to manufacture the vaccine commercially. This will require extensive field testing to ensure that the vaccine is safe and effective in many species. Plans are to market the vaccine through avian veterinarians.

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