Seventy-nine Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) isolated from clinical specimens of different poultry species including chickens, pigeons ( Columba livia ), geese and ostriches in Eastern China during 2005–2008 were characterized biologically and phylogenetically. The results showed genetic diversity of these viruses: three class I viruses and one genotype I and 12 genotype II viruses of class II circulating in chickens were avirulent; four genotype VIb viruses isolated from pigeons were moderately virulent; and two genotype III viruses and 57 genotype VIId viruses were highly virulent. The three class I viruses were further classified as genotypes 2 and 3. The very high F protein sequence identity of one genotype I virus with strain Queensland V4 and 12 genotype II viruses with strain La Sota indicated that these viruses originated from the two vaccine strains. Two genotype III viruses shared greater than 99% sequence identity with the moderately virulent vaccine strain Mukteswar but exhibited significantly higher virulence, suggesting that they evolved from the vaccine virus and that the Mukteswar vaccine should be banned in China. Fifty-seven of the 63 virulent NDVs in this study belonged to genotype VIId, indicating its predominance in Eastern China. Genotype VIId viruses could be further classified into two subgroups. Four of the five NDVs isolated from pigeons belonged to genotype VIb, indicating its host-specific preference. Both the genotype VIb and VIId NDVs showed low amino acid similarity to the vaccine strains currently used in China, implying the urgent need to develop better vaccines against the most prevalent NDVs in China.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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