Goose Parvovirus Infection


Goose provirus infection is variously known as Derzsy’s disease, so- called goose influenza, goose or gosling plague, goose hepatitis, goose enteritis, infectious myocarditis, or ascitic-hepato-nephritis.

The disease is highly contagious disease affecting young geese and Muscovy ducks. The diverse names given to the condition reflect the multiple pathologic features of the disease. Depending on the age of affected goslings, the disease may present in acute, subacute, or chronic forms. The acite form of the disease can result in 100% mortality in goslings under 10 days of age.

The disease, has not been reported in other avian species or mammals, including humans.



The first detailed description of a serious disease of goslings, which occurred in China in 1956 and was later shown to be caused by a parvovirus. During the 1960s, a sirhilar disease was reported from many European countries.



The etiologic agent is a parvovirus.

The virus is a member of the family Parvoviridae.

DNA virus.

No antigenic relationships with chicken or mammalian parvoviruses have been demonstrated.

No hemagglutination activity.

Goose parvovirus is very resistant to chemical and physical inactivation (resist environmental conditions).

All the goose parvoviruses are antigenically closely related

The virus has only been isolated in embryonated goose or Muscovy duck eggs or primary cell cultures prepared from the embryos.



Geese and Muscovy ducks are the only species in which naturally occurring clinical disease has been observed.

All breeds of domestic geese are susceptible.

Other breeds of domestic poultry and ducks appear refractory to infection

The disease is strictly age dependent; thus, 100% mortality may occur in goslings under 1 wk of age, with negligible losses occurring in 4- to 5-wk-old birds. Similar findings apply to the clinical disease in Muscovy ducks (25, 39, 69).


Transmission, Carriers, and Vectors

Infected birds excrete large amounts of virus in their feces resulting in a rapid spread of infection by direct and indirect ontact. Vertical transmission is important route of transmission. Older geese that become subclinically infected act as carriers ‘of the disease and transmit the virus through their eggs to susceptible goslings in the hatchery

No biologic vectors have been identified.


Incubation Period

In susceptible goslings the incubation period is age dependent. The incubation period in 2-5 week old gooslings vary between 5 and 10 days.


Morbidity and mortality

Mortality sometimes reaches 100% in goslings infected in the hatchers.

In 2- to 3-wk-old goslings mortality levels may be below 10%, although morbidity levels may be high. Complicating factors such a poor management and secondary bacterial, fungal, or viral infections may influence the final mortality levels.


Clinical signs

The clinical signs, morbidity, and mortality in susceptible goslings also vary according to the age of the birds. In goslings under 1 wk of age, the course of the disease may be very rapid with anorexia, prostration, and death occurring within. 2-5 days. In older birds, or those with variable levels of maternally derived antibody, the disease follows a more prolonged course with the appearance of characteristic clinical signs appear as:

Anorexia, polydipsia, weakness, reluctance to move, nasal and ocular discharge in many birds with head shaking. The uropygial glands and eyelids are often red and swollen Profuse white diarrhea. Fibrinous pseudomembrane covering the tongue and oral cavity. Go slings that survive the acute phase may develop a more prolonged disease characterized by profound growth retardation, loss of down around the back and neck, and marked reddening of the exposed skin. Accumulation of ascitic fluid in the abdomen, which causes the goslings to stand in a “penguinlike’ posture.