Determination of Newcastle disease virus among wild bird populations in Lake Van basin, Turkey


Abstract: In this study, 540 feces samples taken from a total of 22 bird species, including transit migrant, winter visitor, migratory, and resident bird species, in Lake Van basin were examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with respect to the Newcastle disease virus (NDV). All of the feces samples were cultured in specific pathogen-free embryonated chicken eggs (ECEs) for NDV isolation. The NDV isolates were analyzed for virulent fusion (F) protein by RT reverse transcription PCR (RRT-PCR). Of the 540 examined feces samples, 28 (5.18%) were found to be positive by RT-PCR. The same samples were cultured in ECEs and, of those, 9 (1.66%) were positive for NDV isolations. Of the isolates, 7 were obtained from the migrant waterfowls Phoenicopterus ruber, Anas clypeata, Aythya ferina, and Aythya fuligula and 2 were from the resident species Columba livia. The RRT-PCR F protein was determined in 1 isolate belonging to Aythya ferina; this strain was typed as mesogenic/velogenic avian paramyxovirus type 1 and the other 8 isolates as lentogenic. In this study, we investigated, for the first time, the presence of NDV in wild, seemingly healthy bird feces from areas in Lake Van basin, in Turkey.

Keywords: Fusion protein, matrix protein, Newcastle disease virus, pathotype, RT-PCR, wild birds

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