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Farm animal practice
Diagnosis and control of goose parvovirus
  1. Richard Irvine

    Richard Irvine graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1997. He worked in mixed practice for four years before joining the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), working as a veterinary investigation officer until 2007. He is currently deputy head of the Avian Virology and Mammalian Influenza Group and the EU/OIE/FAO International Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease at VLA — Weybridge. He is also chairman of the VLA's Avian Expert Group and holds an MSc in the control of infectious diseases in animals.

  2. Paul Holmes

    Paul Holmes graduated from Liverpool in 1986. After eight years in mixed practice, he completed an MSc in wild animal health at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. He is currently a veterinary investigation officer at VLA — Shrewsbury.


Goose parvovirus (GPV) infection, also known as Derzsy's disease, goose hepatitis, infectious myocarditis or ‘goose plague’, is a highly contagious disease affecting domestic goslings and Muscovy ducklings. The condition has no known public health significance and it is not notifiable. However, official declarations of GPV status may be required for the export of geese to some countries. While all breeds of domestic geese and Muscovy ducks can be infected, domestic poultry, including other waterfowl, appear to be refractory. Disease in susceptible birds is strictly age-dependent, with birds building a progressive resistance to infection with age, and losses after six weeks of age are generally negligible. The severity of disease in neonatal birds depends on the levels of maternally derived antibody present. Horizontal transmission of infection in a hatchery can cause up to 100 per cent mortality in fully susceptible neonates. This article discusses the diagnosis of GPV and outlines the options for disease control and prevention.

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