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Avian Virology
Newcastle disease: a continuing threat to UK poultry
  1. Richard M. Irvine1,
  2. Elizabeth Aldous1,
  3. Chad Fuller1,
  4. Dennis Alexander1,
  5. Ian H. Brown1 and
  6. Chris Davis2
  1. Avian Virology and Mammalian Influenza Group, EU/OIE/FAO International Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease, AHVLA – Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 1EF
  1. e-mail: richard.irvine{at}ahvla.gsi.gov.uk

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AT the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 several Newcastle disease outbreaks in unvaccinated poultry associated with pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 (PPMV-1) infection were officially reported by two northern European countries (OIE 2010, 2011a, b, c). Infected wild birds were suspected to be the source of the virus, presumably coming into contact with poultry, or gaining access to poultry houses, during the severe winter conditions.

PPMV-1 is a virulent ‘pigeon variant’ Newcastle disease virus (of avian paramyxovirus genotype 4b/VIb) and the cause of the continuing panzootic that began in racing and feral pigeons more than 30 years ago. PPMV-1 strains are also fully capable of infecting …

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