Hygiene Protocols for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (Particularly Beak and Feather Disease) in Australian Birds

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006

1. Acronyms for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease and Beak and Feather Disease Virus

There has been confusion about the acronymns that may be applied to PBFD and its causative virus. PBFD has also been called psittacine circovirus disease, or PCD. However, the latter acronym clashes with that of porcine circovirus disease. Additionally, the acronym PCV (psittacine circovirus) clashes with that of porcine circovirus.

The family Circoviridae contains two genera; Circovirus and Gyrovirus. Chicken anaemia virus (CAV) is the only member of the Gyrovirus genus. There are three official members of the Circovirus genus, the two porcine circoviruses PCV1 and PCV2, and beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) (Pringle, 1999; Bassami et al., 1998). There is, however, a growing list of avian circoviruses, and a tentative classification may be summarised as follows:

Genus Circovirus


  • Porcine circovirus PCV1 and PCV2
  • Beak and feather disease virus BFDV


  • Columbid or Pigeon circovirus PiCV
  • Canary circovirusCaCV
  • Goose circovirus GoCV
  • Duck circovirus DuCV
  • Starling circovirusStCV
  • Raven circovirusRaCV

Genus Gyrovirus

  • Chicken anaemia virus CAV

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses states that psittacine beak and feather disease is to be called PBFD to avoid confusing it with Budgerigar Fledgling Disease, and the virus is to be called BFD virus. In this document psittacine beak and feather disease will be referred to as PBFD and the virus that causes the disease as BFDV.