12 Mar 2024

Newcastle disease in poultry

Newcastle disease is a highly contagious and often severe infection that exists worldwide and affects birds, including domestic poultry. It is caused by a virus of the paramyxovirus family.

What is Newcastle disease?

Newcastle disease is a highly contagious and often severe infection that exists worldwide and affects birds, including domestic poultry. It is caused by a virus of the paramyxovirus family.

The disease appears in three forms: lentogenic or mild, mesogenic or moderate, and velogenic or very virulent, also called exotic Newcastle disease. Lentogenic strains are widespread but cause few outbreaks.

The usual form is a respiratory infection, but the predominant clinical signs may be depression, nervous manifestations, or diarrhea. Highly pathogenic Newcastle disease is listed in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and is notifiable to the OIE (OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code).

Its symptoms are very similar to those of Avian Influenza and for this reason it is an officially controlled disease.

Where does the disease exist?

The disease has been detected worldwide, is currently controlled in Canada, the United States, and some Western European countries, and is still present in parts of Africa, Asia and South America. However, because wild birds sometimes carry the virus without being sick, outbreaks can occur wherever birds are kept.

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How is it transmitted and spread?

What are the clinical signs?

How is the disease diagnosed?

How to prevent or control the disease?

In most countries with commercial-scale poultry production, prophylactic vaccination is practiced. To demonstrate that a country is free of Newcastle disease, surveillance according to the guidelines of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code is necessary.

Ultimately, poultry producers must establish effective biosecurity procedures to prevent the introduction of the disease.

In most countries, if the disease appears in a previously free area, an emergency culling policy is practiced. This includes:

Sources: Available upon request

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