Newcastle Disease Virus

Authored by: Claudio L. Afonso , Patti J. Miller

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is also known as avian paramyxovirus serotype-1 (APMV-1). While all NDV are referred to as APMV-1 and are of one serotype, only infections with virulent NDV (vNDV) cause Newcastle disease (ND). NDV strains are defined as virulent if they (1) have three or more basic amino acids in their fusion (F) cleavage sites (position 113–116 of the uncleaved F protein [F0]) with a phenylalanine at position 117 or (2) obtain an intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) value of ≥0.7 in day-old chickens (Gallus gallus). 1 Failure to demonstrate multiple basic amino acids requires isolates to be tested for an ICPI value. There are three terms that are commonly used when discussing NDV isolates and the clinical disease they cause in chickens. Lentogens are nonvirulent NDV isolates that may cause no disease or minor respiratory infections. Mesogens and velogens are NDV isolates that lead to medium and severe clinical disease, respectively, that are both classified as vNDV. These three terms are most often used to describe the viruses based on clinical signs and lesions resulting from poultry infected with APMV-1 and were used more often before sequencing of viral genomes was not as readily available. NDV can infect over 200 species of birds and it is likely that all bird species are susceptible with mortalities of up to 100% possible in naïve birds of certain species. NDV is endemic in poultry in many countries of Africa and Asia, in smaller areas of Mexico, in Central and South America, and in cormorants in the United States and Canada. The virus continues to be endemic in pigeons worldwide since the third panzootic started in the 1970s in the Middle East. Infections with vNDV are reportable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and, if detected in poultry species, can lead to trade restrictions of poultry or poultry products. In 2011, 80 countries reported outbreaks of ND in poultry or wild birds ( Member countries of the OIE are required to report within 24 h following the diagnosis of an ND outbreak. Strains of vNDV are agro-bioterrorism threat agents (

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