Characterization of newcastle disease viruses in wild and domestic birds in Luxembourg from 2006 to 2008

Chantal J. Snoeck, Marianna Marinelli, Emilie Charpentier, Aurélie Sausy, Tom Conzemius, Serge Losch, Claude P. Muller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is one of the most important viral diseases of birds. Wild birds constitute a natural reservoir of low-virulence viruses, while poultry are the main reservoir of virulent strains. Exchange of virus between these reservoirs represents a risk for both bird populations. Samples from wild and domestic birds collected between 2006 and 2010 in Luxembourg were analyzed for NDV. Three similar avirulent genotype I strains were found in ducks during consecutive years, suggesting that the virus may have survived and spread locally. However, separate introductions cannot be excluded, because no recent complete F gene sequences of genotype I from other European countries are available. Detection of vaccine-like strains in wild waterbirds suggested the spread of vaccine strains, despite the nonvaccination policy in Luxembourg. Among domestic birds, only one chicken was positive for a genotype II strain differing from the LaSota vaccine and exhibiting a so-far-unrecognized fusion protein cleavage site of predicted low virulence. Three genotype VI strains from pigeons were the only virulent strains found. The circulation of NDV in wild and free-ranging domestic birds warrants continuous surveillance because of increased concern that low-virulence wild-bird viruses could become more virulent in domestic populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-645
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


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