Separate Evolution of Virulent Newcastle Disease Viruses From Mexico and Central America

J Clin Microbiol. 2014 May;52(5):1382-90. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00066-14. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


An outbreak of Newcastle disease (ND) in poultry was reported in Belize in 2008. The characteristics of three virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates from this outbreak (NDV-Belize-3/08, NDV-Belize-4/08, and NDV-Belize-12/08) were assessed by genomic analysis and by clinicopathological characterization in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens. The results showed that all three strains belong to NDV genotype V and are virulent, as assessed by the intracerebral pathogenicity index and the polybasic amino acid sequence at the fusion protein cleavage site. In 4-week-old SPF chickens, NDV-Belize-3/08 behaved as a typical velogenic viscerotropic NDV strain, causing severe necrohemorrhagic lesions in the lymphoid organs, with systemic virus distribution. Phylogenetic analysis of multiple NDV genotype V representatives revealed that genotype V can be divided into three subgenotypes, namely, Va, Vb, and Vc, and that all tested Belizean isolates belong to subgenotype Vb. Furthermore, these isolates are nearly identical to a 2007 isolate from Honduras and appear to have evolved separately from other contemporary viruses circulating in Mexico, clustering into a new clade within NDV subgenotype Vb.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central America
  • Chickens / virology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Genotype
  • Mexico
  • Newcastle Disease / virology*
  • Newcastle disease virus / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Poultry Diseases / virology
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Virulence / genetics*


  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Fusion Proteins