Twenty-nine strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolated from outbreaks in chicken and goose flocks in several regions of China during 1985–2001 were characterized pathotypically and genotypically. All except one of these strains were velogenic. For genotyping, phylogenetic tree analysis (nt 47–420), restriction site mapping (nt 334–1682) and residue substitution analysis (residues 4–124) of the F gene were performed using sequences of our isolates and sequences of selected NDV strains from GenBank. The results revealed that most of these newly characterized strains belonged to six novel genetic groups that were designated as VIf, VIg, VIIc, VIId, VIIe and IX. The genotype IX viruses, to which the China challenge strain F48E8 used for vaccine evaluation belonged, were found only in China and still induced sporadic infections in certain areas. Isolates belonging to group VIf and VIg were distinct from previously reported members of genotype VI, with genetic distance from 2.5 to 12.1%. Subgenotype VIIc, VIId and VIIe viruses, which were distributed in clusters in the phylogenetic tree distinct from members of subgenotypes VIIa and VIIb, were responsible for disease outbreaks in chicken and goose flocks and circulated predominantly in southern China in recent years. Finally, cross-protective testing showed that specific-pathogen free (SPF) chickens vaccinated with La Sota vaccines can be fully protected against challenge by strains from genetic groups VIb, VIg, VIId and IX, indicating that the antigenic differences between strains of various genotypes are insufficient to change the cross-protection conferred by the commonly used vaccine.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2003
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