U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Newcastle Disease Virus Infection in Quail

Leonardo Susta, Diego Segovia, Timothy L. Olivier, Kiril M. Dimitrov, Ismaila Shittu, Valerie Marcano, Patti J. Miller
Veterinary pathology v.55 no.5 pp. 682-692
animal pathology, Newcastle disease, Avian orthoavulavirus 1, encephalitis, virus replication, immunohistochemistry, head, pathogenesis, Coturnix japonica, ataxia (disorder), virulence, tissues, quails, mortality, virulent strains, chickens, virus transmission, cloaca, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), Pakistan, Israel
Newcastle disease (ND), caused by virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), is a devastating disease of poultry worldwide. The pathogenesis of ND in quail is poorly documented. To characterize the ability of virulent NDV strains to replicate and cause disease in quail, groups of 14 two-week-old Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) were experimentally inoculated with 10⁸ EID₅₀ (embryo infectious dose 50%) units of 1 of 4 virulent NDV strains: 2 isolated from quail (N2, N23) and 2 from chickens (Israel, Pakistan). At day 2 postinfection, noninfected quail (contact group) were added to each infection group to assess the efficacy of virus transmission. Tested NDV strains showed moderate pathogenicity, with highest mortality being 28% for the N2 strain and below 10% for the others. Two N2-inoculated birds showed neurological signs, such as head tremor and ataxia. Microscopic lesions were present in N2-, Israel-, and Pakistan-inoculated birds and consisted of nonsuppurative encephalitis. Contact birds showed no clinical signs or lesions. In both inoculated and contact birds, virus replication was moderate to minimal, respectively, as observed by immunohistochemistry in tissues and virus isolation from oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs. Strains originally isolated from quail resulted in higher numbers of birds shedding in the inoculation group; however, transmission appeared slightly more efficient with chicken-derived isolates. This study shows that virulent NDV strains have limited replicative potential and mild to moderate disease-inducing ability in Japanese quail.