To characterize the clinicopathologic features of recently described genotypes of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), 1 representative strain of genotype XIV and 2 of genotype XVII, all isolated from West Africa, were used to infect groups of ten 4-week-old specific pathogen-free chickens. The pathobiology of these 3 strains was compared to a South African NDV strain classified within genotype VII. All chickens infected with the 4 viruses died or were euthanized by day 4 postinfection due to the severity of clinical signs. Gross and histologic lesions in all infected chickens included extensive necrosis of lymphoid tissues (thymus, spleen, bursa of Fabricius, cecal tonsils, gut-associated lymphoid tissue), gastrointestinal necrosis and hemorrhages, and severe hemorrhagic conjunctivitis. Immunohistochemical staining revealed systemic viral distribution, and the most intense staining was in the lymphoid organs. Results demonstrate that the 3 West African strains from the previously uncharacterized genotypes XIV and XVII are typical velogenic viscerotropic NDV strains with lesions similar to the South African strain. Under experimental conditions, QV4 and LaSota NDV vaccine strains successfully protected chickens from morbidity and mortality against the genotype VII and one genotype XVII NDV strain, with no significant differences in the amount of virus shed when 2 vaccine schemes were compared.
Keywords: West Africa; chickens; clinicopathologic assessment; genotypes XIV and XVII; heterologous vaccination; pathogenesis; velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease virus.
© The Author(s) 2014.