J Vet Sci.  2022 Sep;23(5):e67. 10.4142/jvs.22082.

Molecular characteristics of Budgerigar fledgling disease polyomavirus detected from parrots in South Korea

  • 1Laboratory of Veterinary Laboratory Medicine and Wildlife Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Korea
  • 2The Wildlife Center of Chungbuk, Cheongju 28116, Korea


Budgerigar fledgling disease polyomavirus (BFDV) is the pathogen that causes budgerigar fledgling disease in psittacine species. The clinical signs of PBFV infection include ascites, hepatitis, and crop stasis. BFDV is associated with a high mortality rate in nestling birds. In contrast, adult birds only have mild symptoms such as feather dystrophy.
This study aimed to determine the prevalence, genetic characteristics, and phylogenetic analysis of BFDV in pet parrots in Korea.
Fecal and tissue samples were collected from 217 pet parrots from 10 veterinary hospitals including Chungbuk National University Veterinary Hospital. The molecular screening was performed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of the small t/large T antigen gene segment. Full-length genome sequencing with the Sanger and phylogenetic analysis were performed on BFDV-positive samples.
The PCR results based on the small t/large T antigen gene marker indicated that BFDV DNA was present in 10 out of 217 screened samples. A whole-genome sequence was obtained from six strains and phylogenetic analysis revealed no significant relationship existed between the species and geographical locations amongst them.
The prevalence of BFDV infection in South Korea is not high when compared to the prevalence of BFDV in other parts of the world, however, it has been reported sporadically in various species and geographic locations. The whole-genome analysis revealed 0.2%–0.3% variation in intragenomic homogeneity among the six strains analyzed. Korean strains are separately on the phylogenetic tree from their counterparts from China and Japan which might reflect the substantial genetic variation.


Budgerigar fledgling disease virus; molecular characterization; parrot; phylogenetic analysis; prevalence
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