Newcastle disease is caused by virulent forms of avian paramyxovirus of serotype 1 (APMV-1) and has global economic importance. The disease reached panzootic proportions within two decades after first being identified in 1926 in the United Kingdom and Indonesia and still remains endemic in many countries across the world. Here we review information on the host, temporal, and geographic distribution of APMV-1 genetic diversity based on the evolutionary systematics of the complete coding region of the fusion gene. Strains of APMV-1 are phylogenetically separated into two classes (class I and class II) and further classified into genotypes based on genetic differences. Class I viruses are genetically less diverse, generally present in wild waterfowl, and are of low virulence. Class II viruses are genetically and phenotypically more diverse, frequently isolated from poultry with occasional spillovers into wild birds, and exhibit a wider range of virulence. Waterfowl, cormorants, and pigeons are natural reservoirs of all APMV-1 pathotypes, except viscerotropic velogenic viruses for which natural reservoirs have not been identified. Genotypes I and II within class II include isolates of high and low virulence, the latter often being used as vaccines. Viruses of genotypes III and IX that emerged decades ago are now isolated rarely, but may be found in domestic and wild birds in China. Containing only virulent viruses and responsible for the majority of recent outbreaks in poultry and wild birds, viruses from genotypes V, VI, and VII, are highly mobile and have been isolated on different continents. Conversely, virulent viruses of genotypes XI (Madagascar), XIII (mainly Southwest Asia), XVI (North America) and XIV, XVII and XVIII (Africa) appear to have a more limited geographic distribution and have been isolated predominantly from poultry.
Keywords: Avian paramyxovirus 1 (APMV-1); Distribution; Genotype; Host; Newcastle disease virus (NDV); Virulence.
Published by Elsevier B.V.