New Research Information on Pacheco's from R.A.L.

Research conducted by Dr. Phalen at Texas A & M combined with testing performed by Research Associates Laboratory has shown the following:

  1. DNA testing for birds infected with Pacheco's Disease Virus (Psittacid Herpes Virus - PsHV) detects approximately 85% of carrier birds with one combined test consisting of choanal/cloacal swab and blood sample. Accuracy improves to 95% of infected, non-clinically diseased birds with 2 tests, 30 days apart. This is derived from Dr. Phalen's observations and monthly testing of carrier birds over a 2-year time period.

  2. For testing suspected carrier birds, submit whole, unclotted blood (heparanized) and a combined choanal and cloaca swab. Swab and blood samples are tested together and charged as a single test.

  3. Viral shedding in carrier birds is much more frequent than previously thought. We detect PsHV in almost every sample from carrier birds. One Double Yellow Headed Amazon quarantined for two years has yet to have a negative test result!

  4. Birds that have become ill and survived a Pacheco's Disease outbreak are usually chronic carriers of the virus. Wild caught, imported Amazon parrots and many Conure species are also commonly implicated carriers.

  5. It appears that, once infected with this virus, birds remain infected for extended periods of time and most probably for life. Positive carriers have not been documented to revert to a negative status.

Sending Samples

Swabs do not need to be sent with cold packs or overnight. The organism is stable on a dry swab. As we are testing for the DNA of the virus, time is not critical. Tissues do not need ice packs or overnight shipment. Package all samples to prevent damage or loss during transport to laboratory! If results are needed immediately, we recommend using an overnight service (FEDEX, UPS, DHL,etc.) for fastest service.

How Long Does Testing Take?

All tests are run daily in our laboratory during weekdays or with arrangements for emergencies. Results are available the same day samples are received providing shipment arrives in laboratory BEFORE 10:30 AM. Later shipments are available the next business day. Saturday is a regular business day with tests and results being reported via fax and phone, usually between 2:00 PM and 3:30 PM Central Time Zone. A final hard copy is also mailed out at no additional costs. Positive results are personally called and we encourage our customers to call with specific requests or needs.