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Abstract

Case Description—A 3-month-old red-lored Amazon parrot (Amazona autumnalis autumnalis) was evaluated for severe lethargy.

Clinical Findings—Avian influenza virus hemagglutinin subtype H5N2 with low pathogenicity was characterized by virus isolation, real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay, chicken intravenous pathogenicity index, and reference sera. The virus was also determined to be closely related to a virus lineage that had been reported only in Mexico and Central America.

Treatment and Outcome—The chick was admitted to the hospital and placed in quarantine. Supportive care treatment was administered. Although detection of H5 avian influenza virus in birds in the United States typically results in euthanasia of infected birds, an alternative strategy with strict quarantine measures and repeated diagnostic testing was used. The chick recovered from the initial clinical signs after 4 days and was released from quarantine 9 weeks after initial evaluation after 2 consecutive negative virus isolation and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay results.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of H5N2 avian influenza A virus isolated from a psittacine bird and represents the first introduction of this virus into the United States, most likely by illegal importation of psittacine birds. Avian influenza A virus should be considered as a differential diagnosis for clinical signs of gastrointestinal tract disease in psittacine birds, especially in birds with an unknown history of origin. Although infection with avian influenza virus subtype H5 is reportable, destruction of birds is not always required.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association