Start Date: Nov 15, 2006
End Date: Oct 10, 2011
Reverse genetics technology will be utilized to generate viruses with different Newcastle disease virus (NDV) gene mutations or combinations. A comparison of the pathogenesis of those recombinant viruses and their parent viruses in chickens and other bird species will be done to extend the understanding of the role of those genetic changes on tissue tropism and the manifestations of clinical disease of NDV strains that are of a single serotype but vary in virulence. Development of improved Newcastle disease (ND) vaccine formulations will be based on data obtained from the comparative antigenicity of NDV strains of different virus lineages and resultant protection induced to challenge with isolates from recent ND outbreaks. Whole virus vaccine formulations will be compared to recombinant viruses prepared by reverse genetics or vector systems to express optimal antigenic configurations. Development of improved rapid diagnostics with monoclonal antibodies and real-time RT-PCR will be used to improve NDV detection and differentiation capabilities. Expansion of the NDV database of genomic and biological characteristics of recent isolates from poultry and surveillance of wild bird populations will improve our predictive and forensic molecular epidemiology capabilities and provide direction for reverse genetics constructs in studies of pathogenesis and vaccine and rapid diagnostic development.