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Concept: Newcastle disease


Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is characterized by immunosuppression due to the depletion of lymphocytes in the atrophied bursa of Fabricius (BF). We have sometimes encountered contradictory findings: chickens infected with the vaccine IBD virus (IBDV) strain have sometimes exhibited a highly atrophied BF but not immunosuppression. In this study, chickens administered vaccine or wild-type strains of IBDV were later vaccinated with the B1 strain of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Bursal changes were examined histologically with a focus on the bursal follicle. The immunoreactivity to NDV was also evaluated with the hemagglutination inhibition test. In gross examination, we observed a few chickens with a severely atrophied BF in vaccine strain-administered groups (vaccine groups), and the level of severity was the same as that in the wild-type strain-administered group (wild-type group). However, these chickens retained humoral antibody responses to NDV and were revealed to possess a higher number of bursal follicles than those of the wild-type group. These results indicated that macroscopic evaluation dose not accurately reflect the immunoreactivity and degree of bursal damage in IBDV-administered chickens. We also found non-immunosuppressed chickens in the wild-type group. These non-immunosuppressed chickens retained a significantly higher number of normal follicles and total follicles according to our statistical analysis. Furthermore, a high correlation coefficient between the NDV-HI titer and the number of normal follicles was found in the wild-type group. These results implied that the retained number of normal follicles is important for the immunoreactivity of chickens infected with IBDV.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Vaccine, Infection, B cell, Humoral immunity, Newcastle disease, Hieronymus Fabricius


The Newcastle disease virus (NDV) matrix (M) protein has been demonstrated to be a nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking protein. Previous studies have shown that the M protein localizes in the nucleus through a bipartite nuclear localization signal. Here, we report that the ability of the M protein to shuttle to the cytoplasm is mediated by three nuclear export signal sequences (NESs). Using leptomycin B (LMB), a specific inhibitor of CRM1, we found that the nuclear export of the three NESs was LMB insensitive and thus was CRM1 independent. In addition, inactivation of these NESs led to nuclear accumulation of the M protein. Our results highlight the significance of these NESs to the nuclear export of the NDV M protein.

Concepts: DNA, Cell nucleus, Cell biology, Newcastle disease, Molecular genetics, Nuclear localization signal, Ran, Nuclear export signal


Virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates from new sub-genotypes within genotype VII are rapidly spreading through Asia and the Middle East causing outbreaks of Newcastle disease (ND) characterized by significant illness and mortality in poultry, suggesting the existence of a fifth panzootic. These viruses, which belong to the new sub-genotypes VIIh and VIIi, have epizootic characteristics and do not appear to have originated directly from other genotype VII NDV isolates that are currently circulating elsewhere, but are related to the present and past Indonesian NDV viruses isolated from wild birds since the 80s. Viruses from sub-genotype VIIh were isolated in Indonesia (2009-2010), Malaysia (2011), China (2011), and Cambodia (2011-2012) and are closely related to the Indonesian NDV isolated in 2007, APMV1/Chicken/Karangasem, Indonesia (Bali-01)/2007. Since 2011 and during 2012 highly related NDV isolates from sub-genotype VIIi have been isolated from poultry production facilities and occasionally from pet birds, throughout Indonesia, Pakistan and Israel. In Pakistan, the viruses of sub-genotype VIIi have replaced NDV isolates of genotype XIII, which were commonly isolated in 2009-2011, and they have become the predominant sub-genotype causing ND outbreaks since 2012. In a similar fashion, the numbers of viruses of sub-genotype VIIi isolated in Israel increased in 2012, and isolates from this sub-genotype are now found more frequently than viruses from the previously predominant sub-genotypes VIId and VIIb, from 2009 to 2012. All NDV isolates of sub-genotype VIIi are approximately 99% identical to each other and are more closely related to Indonesian viruses isolated from 1983 through 1990 than to those of genotype VII, still circulating in the region. Similarly, in addition to the Pakistani NDV isolates of the original genotype XIII (now called sub-genotype XIIIa), there is an additional sub-genotype (XIIIb) that was initially detected in India and Iran. This sub-genotype also appears to have as an ancestor a NDV strain from an Indian cockatoo isolated in1982. These data suggest the existence of a new panzootic composed of viruses of subgenotype VIIi and support our previous findings of co-evolution of multiple virulent NDV genotypes in unknown reservoirs, e.g. as recorded with the virulent NDV identified in Dominican Republic in 2008. The co-evolution of at least three different sub-genotypes reported here and the apparent close relationship of some of those genotypes from ND viruses isolated from wild birds, suggests that identifying wild life reservoirs may help predict new panzootics.

Concepts: Evolution, Newcastle disease


Our study demonstrates the repeated isolation of vaccine-derived Newcastle disease viruses from different species of wild birds across four continents from 1997 through 2014. The data indicate that at least 17 species from ten avian orders occupying different habitats excrete vaccine-derived Newcastle disease viruses. The most frequently reported isolates were detected among individuals in the order Columbiformes (n = 23), followed in frequency by the order Anseriformes (n = 13). Samples were isolated from both free-ranging (n = 47) and wild birds kept in captivity (n = 7). The number of recovered vaccine-derived viruses corresponded with the most widely utilized vaccines, LaSota (n = 28) and Hitchner B1 (n = 19). Other detected vaccine-derived viruses resembled the PHY-LMV2 and V4 vaccines, with five and two cases, respectively. These results and the ubiquitous and synanthropic nature of wild pigeons highlight their potential role as indicator species for the presence of Newcastle disease virus of low virulence in the environment. The reverse spillover of live agents from domestic animals to wildlife as a result of the expansion of livestock industries employing massive amounts of live virus vaccines represent an underappreciated and poorly studied effect of human activity on wildlife.

Concepts: Microbiology, Virus, Natural environment, Influenza, Avian influenza, Newcastle disease, Bird, Columbiformes


Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a threat to poultry production worldwide. A better understanding of mechanisms of resistance and susceptibility to this virus will improve measures for NDV prevention and control. Males and females from resistant Fayoumi and susceptible Leghorn lines were either challenged with a lentogenic strain of the virus or given a mock infection at 3 weeks of age. The lung transcriptomes generated by RNA-seq were studied using contrasts across the challenged and nonchallenged birds, the two lines, and three time points post-infection, and by using Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGNCA).

Concepts: Gene expression, Virus, RNA, Infection, Newcastle disease, Mononegavirales, Avulavirus


High ambient temperature is one of the most important environmental factors negatively impacting poultry production and health. Genetics is an important contributor in mitigating the stress response to heat. Two genetically distinct highly inbred lines of similar body size (Leghorn and Fayoumi) were characterized for phenotypic differences in response to heat. At 14 days of age, birds were exposed to 38°C with 50% humidity for 4 hours, then 35°C until the conclusion of the experiment. Non-treated individuals were kept at 29.4°C for the first week and then 25°C throughout the experiment. Birds in the heat-stress group were inoculated at day (d) 21 with Newcastle disease virus (NDV) La Sota strain to investigate the effects of heat stress and NDV infection. Thirteen blood parameters were measured using the iSTAT blood analyzer at three stages: 4 h, 6 d, and 9 d post heat-stress treatment, representing acute heat (AH) exposure, chronic heat (CH1) exposure, and chronic heat exposure after virus infection (CH2), respectively. Most blood parameters were significantly changed with heat stress in Leghorns at AH and in Fayoumis at CH1 and CH2. The Leghorn line had significant acute responses with disrupted acid-base balance and metabolic disorders. The heat-resilient Fayoumis maintained a relatively well-balanced acid-base balance. The current study provides the comprehensive profile of biomarker signatures in blood associated with heat tolerance and suggests that PO2, TCO2, HCO3, and base excess can be served as potential biomarkers that can be used to genetically improve heat tolerance in poultry.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Metabolism, Virus, Physiology, Newcastle disease, PH


Neuraminidase activity is essential for the infection and propagation of Paramyxoviruses, including human parainfluenza viruses (hPIVs) and the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV). Thus, many inhibitors have been developed based on the 2-deoxy-2,3-didehydro-D-N-acetylneuraminic acid inhibitor (DANA) backbone. Along this line, we report here a series of neuraminidase inhibitors, having C-4 (ptoluensulfonamide and azido substituents) and C-5 (N-perfluorinated chains) modifications to the DANA backbone, that resulted 5- to 15-folds more potent than the current most active compound, the Ntrifluoroacetyl derivative of DANA (FANA), on the NDV haemagglutinin-neuraminidase (NDV-HN). Remarkably, these inhibitors resulted essentially inactive toward the human sialidase NEU3, which is present on the outer layer of the cell membrane and is highly affected by current NDV inhibitor FANA.

Concepts: Protein, Bacteria, Virus, Infection, Newcastle disease, Viruses, Neuraminidase, Paramyxovirus


A study was conducted in Rukomo sector, Nyagatare district, to determine the status of poultry production. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 100 poultry farmers randomly as 20 farmers from each of the five cells. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16 and presented in chart and tables. The majority of the farmers (84%) reared their poultry in free range system while 10% practiced semi-intensive and only 6% did intensive production. Only 12% of the respondents kept exotic poultry breeds. The breeding stock were mostly obtained from local markets (63%) and the average flock size was about 1-10 birds per homestead (70%). The confinement of poultry at night was either in the main domestic house (33%), in kitchen (32%), or in separate poultry house (35%). Flock records were rare and kept by only 9% of respondents. Poultry products were reportedly at high demand by 87% of respondents and 89% farmers reported profit from their enterprises. Lack of veterinary and financial assistance was reported by 72% of respondents. Newcastle disease (57%) was the main health constraint followed by ectoparasites and internal worms. Many farmers (50%) were in dire need of veterinary assistance and financial support to improve their poultry enterprises. Poor management practices were reported to be one of the crucial factors leading to poor production. Lack of quality feeds (38%) and feeding of poultry, credit (20%), and poor market accessibility (19%) were the main challenges reported.

Concepts: Newcastle disease, SPSS, Constraint, Poultry farming, Poultry, Eastern Province, Rwanda


After publication of the article [1], it has been brought to our attention that Newcastle disease virus was incorrectly labeled as a Tier 1 USDA Select Agent. Newcastle disease virus is a USDA Select Agent but it is not a Tier 1 agent.

Concepts: Microbiology, United States, Newcastle disease, Virology, Mononegavirales, Humid subtropical climate, Abraham Lincoln, Avulavirus


In this study, the complete genome sequence of the heat-resistant Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain HR09, which was isolated in China in the 1990s, was determined and characterized phylogenetically. This is the first report regarding the complete genomic information of a thermostable NDV strain from China.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Organism, Virus, Genome, Genomics, Newcastle disease