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Newcastle disease in the European Union 2000 to 2009

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Newcastle disease (ND) is a devastating disease of poultry that has to some extent been neglected by those working in the field in the past 10 to 15 years while attention has been focused on the emergence and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by a H5N1 subtype virus. During 2000 to 2009 in the European Union (EU) member states, ND viruses virulent for chickens have been detected in wild birds, domesticated pigeons and poultry. Based on these isolations it appears that the epizootic in racing pigeons caused by the variant viruses termed pigeon avian paramyxovirus type 1, which form the genetic group 4b(VIb) first seen in Europe in 1981, continued during 2000 to 2009, and the virus is probably enzootic in racing pigeons in some EU countries. This virus appears to have spread regularly to wild birds, especially those of the Columbidae family, and has been the cause of significant outbreaks in poultry. Other avian paramyxovirus type 1 viruses responsible for ND outbreaks in the EU during 2000 to 2009 have been those from genetic groups 5b(VIIb) and 5d(VIId). There is evidence that the former may well represent spread from a wild bird source and these viruses have also been isolated from wild birds, while the latter represents continuing spread from the East. Future legislation or recommendations aimed at the control and eradication of ND will need to encompass these three sources of virulent ND viruses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Virology Department,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge, AddlestoneSurreyKT15 3NB, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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