Ultrastructural Changes of the Tracheal Epithelium After Vaccination of Day-Old Chickens With the La Sota Strain of Newcastle Disease Virus

Vet Pathol. 2005 Sep;42(5):559-65. doi: 10.1354/vp.42-5-559.


The progression of tracheal lesions induced by vaccination of day-old specific pathogen-free chicks with the La Sota strain of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was examined by relating surface changes as observed by scanning electron microscopy with subcellular changes seen by transmission electron microscopy. NDV infection resulted in hypertrophy of goblet cells, their rupture, and the formation of excess mucus. Activation of goblet cells peaked within 4 days postvaccination. Afterward, the activation levels gradually decreased. At the level of the ciliated cells, a marked increase in the proportion of nonciliated to ciliated cells and later an almost complete deciliation of the tracheal surface were observed because a simple squamous to cuboidal epithelium replaced the original pseudostratified epithelium. Fifteen days postvaccination, all epithelial damage was restored. Because the observed vaccination-induced lesions are detrimental to epithelial integrity and function as a barrier against invading microorganisms, they might explain at the ultrastructural level the secondary complications of vaccination with the La Sota strain against NDV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Chickens / immunology
  • Chickens / virology
  • Goblet Cells / physiology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Newcastle Disease / immunology
  • Newcastle Disease / pathology*
  • Newcastle Disease / prevention & control
  • Newcastle Disease / virology
  • Newcastle disease virus / classification
  • Newcastle disease virus / immunology*
  • Newcastle disease virus / pathogenicity
  • Poultry Diseases / pathology
  • Poultry Diseases / prevention & control
  • Poultry Diseases / virology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / ultrastructure*
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Trachea / pathology*
  • Trachea / ultrastructure*
  • Vaccination / veterinary
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Viral Vaccines