Avian Sexing

Biobest provides specialist avian sexing and diagnosis services to bird owners and veterinary surgeons. We are the only laboratory conducting these tests in the UK.


Biobest offer a range of DNA testing options which can be performed on many difference species of birds.  This includes avian sexing to accurately determine a bird's sex and diagnostic testing for chlamydia, PBFD, polyomavirus and pigeon circovirus.

To make things as easy as possible for our customers we can provide sampling kits on request, free of charge.

We provide individual certificates with the results of all our avian tests. Advice on the interpretation of our results is always available from our veterinary surgeons. If you supply a fax number we will fax your results to you, otherwise certificates are posted to the address you supply on your submission form.

All our DNA assays were developed in-house by our molecular biology experts.

For more information on the different avian tests we perform please visit the Avian Diagnostics section of our Companion Animal Diagnostics page.



Avian Sampling Videos

To help avian customers with taking samples. We have produced two videos that explain how to take and submit swab and feather samples.

Avian Sample Type Guidelines

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Please Note

Sexing - On occasion it can be difficult to extract quality DNA from mouth swabs

Chlamydia - There is no published data confirming that blood gives comparable results to faeces or tissue for chlamydia

Pigeon Circovirus - There is limited validation on sample types other than tissue at PM

What do my test results mean?

Bird Sexing

The sexing report will state whether the sample was found to contain male or female DNA.

Chlamydia PCR

Positive: Bird is shedding chlamydia and may be clinically ill or an asymptomatic carrier. Risk to owner as potential zoonosis.

Negative: Chlamydia not detected in that sample. This does not prove bird is free from chlamydia, and if there is any doubt further samples should be taken at regular intervals.


Positive: Bird is suffering from an acute or chronic PBFDV infection. If the bird is showing typical clinical signs the diagnosis of PBFD is confirmed and the prognosis is poor. If the bird is healthy it should be re-tested after 2 months to confirm whether the infection was transient or the bird is a chronic carrier and dangerous to other birds. Contact with other birds should be avoided during this period.

Negative: No evidence that the bird is suffering from PBFD or is a carrier. If clinical signs are typical of PBFD then the possibility of poor quality sample should be considered and a repeat sample submitted.

Polyomavirus PCR

Positive: Bird is infected with polyomavirus. Not all birds infected with the virus develop clinical disease, so a positive test result must be interpreted in association with the clinical findings

Negative: No evidence that the bird is suffering from Polyomavirus. As for PBFD if clinical signs are typical of polyomavirus disease, the possibility of a poor quality sample should be considered.