Ahead of the NSW state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Government caretaker period has commenced. Limited updates will be made to this website during this period.

Pigeon paramyxovirus


Pigeon paramyxovirus (PPMV-1) has been isolated in domestic and feral pigeons in New South Wales and Victoria however it is not nationally notifiable. Initial clinical signs noted in affected pigeons include depression, ruffled feathers, increased thirst, inappetance and diarrhoea. Nervous signs such as head and wing tremors, partial paralysis of wings and legs and twisting of the neck (torticollis) can occur. Affected birds can recover from infection.

Pigeon paramyxovirus has been rarely reported in other bird species (sparrow hawk and spotted turtle dove) but there is no known human infection.

A vaccination program which includes an annual booster is recommended to protect young and newly introduced birds.

Diagnosis and tests available


Diagnosis of pigeon paramyxovirus is suggested by clinical signs, gross pathology and histopathology and confirmed with PCR.

Tests available


Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Pigeon paramyxovirus real time PCR2

Swab in PBGS

According to demand

2-3 days

Histopathology examination

Fixed tissue

Monday –Friday

Up to 5 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 This test is not NATA accredited.

Specimen requirements

Fixed tissue

  • Brain, kidney or pancreas
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin: tissue


  • Separate cloacal and tracheal swabs should be submitted in viral transport media (PBGS).
    • Use sterile swabs
    • Paediatric swabs can be used for small birds
    • Clearly label swabs to identify bird and tissue sampled
    • Submit chilled

Further information


  • Fees for tests undertaken to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of Pigeon Paramyxovirus are paid by NSW Department of Primary Industries. Extra testing to establish an alternative diagnosis is at submitters’ expense.
  • Always clearly label specimens as Suspect Pigeon Paramyxovirus. Pack securely and forward separately from any other specimens.
  • Advise the laboratory Customer Services of your submission and place a warning under the lid of the outer packaging. This will ensure specific biosecurity precautions are undertaken at the laboratory.