Paramyxovirus type 2 (PMV-2) isolated from wild birds is often considered nonpathogenic, but nothing is known about its effects on overall behavior and fitness of free-flying birds. Domestically bred, African cut-throat finches (Amadina fasciata), a species from which PMV-2 has been isolated in the wild, were inoculated with a Central American field strain of PMV-2. Patterns of behavior were examined before and after viral challenge to quantify inapparent, sublethal effects of the disease. Infected birds demonstrated a significant decrease in activity (P = 0.01) followed by an apparent recovery period. Antibody titers confirmed infection in inoculated birds and indicated that sentinel birds did not become infected.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1