An outbreak of avian paramyxovirus serotype 3 (APMV-3) infection occurred in a private bird collection consisting mainly of Neophema species. Two Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii) and one red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) were examined after developing torticollis and circling. The 3 birds were euthanatized and submitted for necropsy. Brain and liver samples from the 3 birds were homogenized and inoculated into the allantoic cavity of 10-day-old embryonated specific-pathogen-free chicken eggs. An APMV-3 isolate replicated but did not induce embryonic mortality after up to 5 consecutive passages. Allantoic fluid from the second passage was used in hemagglutination testing performed on chicken erythrocytes, which resulted in a titer of 64 hemagglutinating units. Avian paramyxovirus serotype 3 was identified in the allantoic fluid, and a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction verified the isolate as APMV-3/parakeet. An eventual mortality rate of 70% occurred in the Neophema species, but a group of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and parrotlets (Forpus species) kept in the same facility showed no clinical signs during the outbreak.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3