The V4 strain of Newcastle disease virus was introduced into a small open range flock of bantam chickens, by dosing half the birds directly into the crop. As indicated by rises in titres of haemagglutination inhibition antibody, the virus spread to the uninoculated birds and persisted in the flock for two years, infecting chickens that were introduced by natural brooding and rearing. All new clutches of chicks seroconverted by 80 days of age, and the titres of adult birds showed a concurrent rise, suggesting that the chicks were amplifying the virus. The modes of spread and of persistence of the virus were not determined; although cloacal swabs were taken regularly, only one yielded virus. Antibody titres of the inoculated birds remained above the presumptive protective level of 3 (log2) for over a year, whereas the titres of birds infected by contact were generally less than 3.
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