Experimental Velogenic Newcastle Disease Varies Between Chickens and Guinea Fowl

A new study in Nigeria reveals that chickens are more susceptible than guinea fowl to velogenic Newcastle disease and that whereas the Kudu-113 infection is viscerotropic in chickens, it is neurotropic in guinea fowls.
calendar icon 26 January 2015
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Information about the pathogenesis of Newcastle disease (ND) is still limited in many avian species including some poultry, according to O.A. John Okoye, Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology University of Nigeria in Nsukka and coauthors there and the University of Agriculture in Umudike.

In a paper in International Journal of Poultry Science, the researchers explain that they inoculated four-week-old cockerels and guinea fowls were inoculated with a local Nigerian velogenic ND (VND) Virus (VNDV) strain, Kudu-113, intramuscularly.

The main clinical signs in chickens were severe depression and diarrhoea while the guinea fowls showed mainly leg paralysis.

Weight loss was significant in the infected birds in both species from days 3 to 21 post inoculation (PI). Total mortality in the guinea fowls and chickens were 22.2 and 94.6 per cent, respectively.

The guinea fowls showed no proventricular haemorrhage, intestinal ulcers, haemorrhages and swelling of the caecal tonsil which were all prominent in the cockerels. Gross congestion of the brain was observed in the guinea fowls only. But lesions in the lymphoid organs and microscopic changes in the brain were similar in both species.

The antibody response to the viral inoculation was higher in the chickens than the guinea fowls.

The above observations confirm experimentally that chickens are more susceptible to VND than guinea fowls. Furthermore, the Kudu-113 infection was viscerotropic in chickens but neurotropic in guinea fowls.


Igwe O.A., S.W. Ezema, C.D. Eze and O.A.J. Okoye. 2014. Experimental velogenic Newcastle disease can be very severe and viscerotropic in chickens but moderate and neurotropic in guinea fowls. International Journal of Poultry Science. 13 (10): 582-590.

Further Reading

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January 2015

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