Different genotypes of avian paramyxovirus serotype-1 virus (APMV-1) circulate in many parts of the world. Traditionally, Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is recognized as having two major divisions represented by classes I and II, with class II being further divided into sixteen genotypes. Although all NDV are members of APMV-1 and are of one serotype, antigenic and genetic diversity is observed between the different genotypes. Reports of vaccine failure from many countries and reports by our lab on the reduced ability of classical vaccines to significantly decrease viral replication and shedding have created renewed interest in developing vaccines formulated with genotypes homologous to the virulent NDV (vNDV) circulating in the field. We assessed how the amount and specificity of humoral antibodies induced by inactivated vaccines affected viral replication, clinical protection and evaluated how non-homologous (heterologous) antibody levels induced by live NDV vaccines relate to transmission of vNDV. In an experimental setting, all inactivated NDV vaccines protected birds from morbidity and mortality, but higher and more specific levels of antibodies were required to significantly decrease viral replication. It was possible to significantly decrease viral replication and shedding with high levels of antibodies and those levels could be more easily reached with vaccines formulated with NDV of the same genotype as the challenge viruses. However, when the levels of heterologous antibodies were sufficiently high, it was possible to prevent transmission. As the level of humoral antibodies increase in vaccinated birds, the number of infected birds and the amount of vNDV shed decreased. Thus, in an experimental setting the effective levels of humoral antibodies could be increased by (1) increasing the homology of the vaccine to the challenge virus, or (2) allowing optimal time for the development of the immune response.
Keywords: Antigenicity; Humoral immunity; NDV; Newcastle disease virus; Transmission; Vaccines.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.