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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Newcastle disease virus

item Miller, Patti
item Afonso, Claudio

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2011
Publication Date: 7/15/2011
Citation: Miller, P.J., Afonso, C.L. 2011. Newcastle disease virus. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. In: eLS, 2010, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. Available: DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001077.pub3.

Interpretive Summary: Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a small virus made up of ribonucleic acid (RNA) containing only six genes. Strains of NDV infect all species of birds and some mammals and will cause eye infections in people. Some strains of NDV are of low virulence (loNDV) and do not cause birds to get sick. These are used as Newcastle disease (ND) vaccines to protect birds from getting sick and dying when they get infected with virulent NDV (vNDV). Both loNDV and vNDV infect host cells by binding to receptors on the outside of the host cells. The loNDV strains are confined to infecting the cells in the intestinal and respiratory tracts. However, vNDV have multiple amino acids in a critical location of the fusion protein which allows these viruses to spread throughout the body of the bird, making it very sick and even killing the bird. Upon infection with vNDV the gastrointestinal, nervous or respiratory tract can be affected depending on the strain of NDV. Before 1970, in the U.S.A. the vNDV present had low mortality rates and mostly cause neurological lesions. After 1970, different vNDV, ones that caused more lesions on inner organs of the bird began to cause outbreaks of ND. Presented here are newer strains of NDV, along with information about their virulence, their fusion proteins and how they relate to each other.

Technical Abstract: Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a member of the Avulavirus genus in the Paramyxoviridae family, has a ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome that is negative sense, non-segmented, and single-stranded. The genome codes for six structural proteins: nucleocapsid, phosphoprotein, matrix, fusion, hemagglutinin-neuraminidase and the RNA directed RNA polymerase, in addition to the non-structural V protein that is produced by a frame shift in the phosphoprotein coding region. Virulent forms of NDV (vNDV) contain multiple basic amino acids in the fusion cleavage site along with a phenylalanine (F) at position 117, are found worldwide and are endemic in some countries. Infections of poultry species with vNDV lead to trade restrictions. While all NDV strains are of one serotype, their genomes evolve over time, becoming more diverse. Strains of NDV have been used as viral vectors to formulate vaccines for other infectious diseases and experimentally to treat human cancers. The virus causes conjunctivitis in humans.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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