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:
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.