Standardised Diagnostic Tests for Beak and Feather Disease Virus (BFDV)
« Threat abatement project
Shane R. Raidal, Nicolai Johnsen Bonne, Meredith Stewart and Patrick Shearer,
A report for the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, August 2008
The main aims of the project that Murdoch University undertook were to:
- Develop an ELISA for serological assay of BFDV antibodies in blood.
- Compare this ELISA with HI testing already available and any other antibody testing method for BFDV that might also be developed during the course of the project.
- Validation of the ELISA with blood of all psittacine bird species that might be tested.
- Determine the sensitivities and specificities of the ELISA.
- Determine the DNA genotypes of BFDV that require testing.
- Determine the sensitivity of PCR testing on a variety of tissues (eg feather, blood) and environmental samples (eg nest hollow material).
- Compare Haemagglutination (HA), Haemagglutination Inhibition (HI), ELISA and PCR tests to determine their relative sensitivities and specificities and which ones should be used in combination as a diagnostic panel.
The deliverables under this project were to produce this document that reports against all of the agreed research milestones and at least one peer-reviewed research paper submitted for publication in a well-recognised and readily accessible scientific journal.
As outlined in the body of this document all of the objectives have been met and or exceeded. A blocking ELISA was developed that detects anti-BFDV antibody in any psittacine bird species. This assay was as sensitive and specific as existing and currently available serology assays and should supersede the HI assay as the gold standard for BFDV serology. A quantitative real-time PCR assay was also developed and shown to be more sensitive than existing PCR assays for detecting all of the known BFDV genotypes. All of the findings have been published or submitted for publication in internationally recognised peer-reviewed scientific journals.