During February to July 1984, 23 outbreaks of Newcastle disease were confirmed in chickens in Great Britain. Use of available mouse monoclonal antibodies enabled unequivocal identification of the virus responsible for 22 of the outbreaks as similar to the avian paramyxovirus type 1 (A/PMV-1) virus causing neurotropic disease in pigeons during 1983 and 1984. Epidemiological investigations presented evidence that 19 of these outbreaks occurred either directly or indirectly as a result of spread from diseased pigeons infesting food stores at Liverpool docks. Virus was isolated from carcases of pigeons found among the food and samples of the food itself. The remaining outbreak was shown to involve a virus unrelated to the virus infecting pigeons.
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