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Open Access Surveillance for avirulent Newcastle disease viruses in domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos and Cairina moschata) at live bird markets in Eastern China and characterization of the viruses isolated

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We isolated and identified 201 Newcastle disease viruses (NDVs) from domestic ducks in a 5-year surveillance study at live bird markets in Eastern China. Seventy-three of these isolates were characterized biologically and genetically. Fusion protein (F) genes of these isolates were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. Intracerebral pathogenicity index tests in 1-day-old specific-pathogen-free chickens and the mean death time of embryonated fowl eggs in addition to the cleavage site analysis of the F-protein precursor for these viruses showed that they were all avirulent NDVs. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of the F gene showed that 30 isolates clustered into the class I clade and the other 43 isolates clustered into genotype I of class II, but diverged from the vaccine virus Queensland V4, which is extensively used in China. Most class I viruses (18/30) formed a separate branch closest to the Hong Kong live bird market strains that have been recently designated as genotype 3, while the rest (12/30) were closely related to some European viruses within genotype 2. All of the 43 class II genotype I viruses diverged from viruses originally assigned to genotype Ia and formed a separate sublineage designated as Ib with water bird isolates from the Far East, suggesting the possible transmission between the wild and domestic waterfowl. The results in the present study clearly showed that the domestic duck population carries avirulent NDVs with genetic divergence regularly and may act as one of the important reservoirs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Key Laboratory of Animal Infectious Diseases of Ministry of Agriculture, School of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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