What is it about?
Poultry (Gallus domesticus) farming plays an important role as an income generating enterprise in a developing country like Nepal, contributing more than 4% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Newcastle Disease (ND) is a major poultry disease affecting both commercial and backyard poultry production worldwide. There were more than 90 reported ND outbreaks in Nepal in 2018 with over 74,986 birds being affected. ND is responsible for over 7% of total poultry mortality in the country. Recent outbreaks of ND in 2021 affected many farms throughout Nepal and caused massive loss in poultry production. ND is caused by a single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus that presents very similar clinical symptoms as Influenza A (commonly known as bird flu) adding much complexity to clinical disease identification and intervention. We conducted a nationwide ND and Influenza A (IA) prevalence study, collecting samples from representative commercial and backyard poultry farms from across the major poultry production hubs of Nepal. We used both serological and molecular assessments to determine disease exposure history and identification of strains of ND Virus (NDV). Of the 40 commercial farms tested, both NDV (n = 28, 70%) and IAV (n = 11, 27.5%) antibodies were detected in majority of the samples. In the backyard farms (n = 36), sero-prevalence of NDV and IAV were 17.5% (n = 7) and 7.5% (n = 3) respectively. Genotype II NDV was present in most of the commercial farms, which was likely due to live vaccine usage.
Photo by Toni Cuenca on Unsplash
Why is it important?
We detected never reported Genotype I NDV in two backyard farm samples. Our investigation into 2021 ND outbreak implicated Genotype VII.2 NDV strain as the causative pathogen. Additionally, we developed a Tablet formulation of the thermostable I2-NDV vaccine (Ranigoldunga™) and assessed its efficacy on various (mixed) breeds of chicken (Gallus domesticus). Ranigoldunga™ demonstrated an overall efficacy >85% with a stability of 30 days at room temperature (25°C). The intraocularly administered vaccine was highly effective in preventing ND, including Genotype VII.2 NDV strain.
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This page is a summary of: Newcastle disease burden in Nepal and efficacy of Tablet I2 vaccine in commercial and backyard poultry production, PLoS ONE, March 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280688.
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