The avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1), or Newcastle disease virus (NDV), comprise a diverse group of viruses with a single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome. Historically, two systems have been simultaneously used to classify NDV isolates into lineages or genotypes, generating confusion in the nomenclature and discrepancies in the assignment of genetic groups. In the present study we assessed the genetic diversity of the avian paramyxovirus type-1 (APMV-1) and propose a unified nomenclature and a classification system based on objective criteria to separate NDV into genotypes. Complete F gene sequences of class I (n = 110) and class II (n = 602) viruses were used for the phylogenetic reconstruction and to identify distinct taxonomic groups. The mean interpopulational evolutionary distance was estimated (10%) and set as the cutoff value to assign new genotypes. Results of our study revealed that class I viruses comprise a single genotype, while class II contains 15 genetic groups including 10 previously established (I-IX, and XI) and five new genotypes (X, XII, XIII, XIV and XV). Sub-genotypes were identified among class I and class II genotypes. Adoption of a unified nomenclature and of objective criteria to classify NDV isolates will facilitate studies on NDV epidemiology, evolution, disease control and diagnostics.
Published by Elsevier B.V.