Pigeon circovirus was identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in young pigeons belonging to 12 different lofts. Viral DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-imbedded tissues containing primarily bursa and occasionally liver and spleen with a commercial kit. PCR primers were selected from a published sequence for columbid circovirus and evaluated in a PCR assay. The histopathologic examination of various tissues revealed basophilic globular intracytoplasmic inclusions in the mononuclear cells of the bursa of Fabricius and occasionally in the spleen characteristic for a circovirus. Transmission electron microscopy of a few bursas of Fabricius revealed virus particles measuring 18–21 nm. All the samples were negative by PCR for psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) virus and chicken infectious anemia virus. The primers for both pigeon circovirus and PBFD virus did not react in PCR with the chicken anemia virus DNA. Most of the circovirus-infected pigeons had concurrent infections of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pasteurella, Aspergillus, candidiasis, nematodiasis, or capillariasis.
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Vol. 47 • No. 1