Isolation and characterization of Newcastle disease virus from ostriches in Iran


M. Ghiamirad*, A. Pourbakhsh, H. Keyvanfar, R. Momayaz, S. Charkhkar and A. Ashtari

Newcastle disease (ND) is a highly contagious infection of poultry that causes nervous signs and mortality in young ostriches. This study has been done during two years from 2008 to 2010 in Iran, in order to explore ND in ostriches died following nervous signs, and carcasses of these ostriches examined by different methods including histopathology, bacteriology and virology. No histopathological sign was found in the samples. In bacteriological study no significant bacterial agents were isolated. In virology tests, Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was isolated from 4 brain samples. Intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) and mean death time of chicken embryo (MDT) values of these isolates were between 1.7-1.9 and 38-42 h, respectively, that indicated virulence of these viruses. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test confirmed NDV isolation from samples and its virulence. This study is the first report of NDV isolation from the Iranian commercial ostrich farms. With the respect to high virulence of isolated viruses and endemic pattern of virus in Iran, control program should be organized. 

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