As part of West Nile virus surveillance programs in Rhode Island and eastern Texas between 2000 and 2007, brain tissue was collected from 5,608 dead birds representing 21 avian orders found in public places or reported by homeowners. Fifteen Newcastle disease virus isolates were recovered only from birds of the order Columbiformes and were positively identified by the USDA-validated real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay targeting the matrix gene and more specifically as pigeon paramyxovirus serotype 1 (PPMV-1) by hemagglutinin inhibition with monoclonal antibodies. Based upon partial genomic sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, the newly isolated viruses represent a distinct sublineage within class II genotype VIb. All of the viruses (15/15) were classified as virulent based upon their fusion cleavage site motif ( 112RRKKRF117) and intracerebral pathogenicity indices of >0.7 (ranging from 0.98 to1.35); however, these viruses escaped detection by the fusion gene-based real-time PCR test for virulence. Modifications introduced to the probe site of the fusion gene-based assay allowed rapid virulence detection within this distinct sublineage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)