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Title: Presence of vaccine-derived newcastle disease viruses in wild birds

item AYALA, ANDREA - University Of Georgia
item DIMITROV, KIRIL - National Diagnostic And Research Veterinary Medicine Institute
item BECKER, CASSIDY - University Of Georgia
item GORAICHUK, IRYNA - National Scientific Center
item ARNS, CLARICE - Universidade De Campinas (UNICAMP)
item BOLOTIN, VITALIY - National Scientific Center
item FERREIRA, HELENA - Universidad De Sao Paulo
item GERILOVYCH, ANTON - National Scientific Center
item GOUJGOULOVA, GABRIELA - National Diagnostic And Research Veterinary Medicine Institute
item Miller, Patti
item Afonso, Claudio

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2016
Publication Date: 9/14/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Ayala, A.J., Dimitrov, K.M., Becker, C.R., Goraichuk, I.V., Arns, C.W., Bolotin, V.I., Ferreira, H.L., Gerilovych, A.P., Goujgoulova, G.V., Miller, P.J., Afonso, C.L. 2016. Presence of vaccine-derived newcastle disease viruses in wild birds. PLoS One. 11(9):1-19. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162484.

Interpretive Summary: Our research shows that we found live, commercially available chicken vaccine virus in different species of wild birds in four continents from 1997 to 2014. Seventeen clearly identified species from ten more distantly related groups of birds living in different types of environments were shedding these vaccines. This is important because it helps understand the evolution of outbreaks and the mechanism of virus spread during outbreaks. While it is known that wild birds are able to transmit bacteria and viruses to chickens, here we have shown that chickens can also infect wild birds with viruses. The most common type of bird captured and released during the course of virus swabbing in the outdoors was the Rock Pigeon, or Common pigeon found in many cities. Pigeons are known to interact with areas where chickens are raised, especially if chicken feed and water are accessible. There are some side effects seen when chickens are vaccinate with live Newcastle disease virus vaccines, such as mild respiratory disease and possibly some decrease in weight gain. It is unknown if these side effects could affect wild birds.

Technical Abstract: 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.