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Newcastle Disease

Newcastle Disease (ND), also termed avian pneumoencephalitis or Ranikhet disease, is a highly contagious viral infection that affects virtually all bird species with a mortality rate of up to 90% depending on the viral strain. Humans in direct contact with affected birds can pick up the causative avian paramyxovirus-1. Infected humans may show mild symptoms of conjunctivitis or periocular inflammation which resolve spontaneously within a few days. No treatment is required in humans. Humans cannot pick up the virus from eating poultry products.


Newcastle Disease (ND) is a bird disease affecting numerous domestic and wild avian species. ND is caused by an infection with the avian paramyxovirus-1, a single-strand non-segmented RNA virus. Depending on its epidemic capacities, one can distinguish five subtypes: asymptomatic enteric strain, lentogenic strain, mesogenic strain, viscerotropic velogenic strain, and neurotropic velogenic strain [1].

It can be passed on to humans [2]. While the symptoms in humans are very mild and essentially harmless, ND is fatal in birds with up to 90% probability. Humans may suffer from mild, spontaneously resolving conjunctivitis or eyelid edema for up to 14 days. The main role of humans as viral carriers lies in the possible contamination of remote healthy poultry populations [3]. The virus can be picked up when humans are in direct contact with infected birds or their feces. Viral contamination easily spreads to farm equipment and work clothes. Poultry workers, vaccinators, and laboratory workers face an increased contamination risk.

In birds, ND can manifest with a variety of features. Most frequent avian manifestations are a tremor, paralysis, opisthotonos, greenish diarrhea, loss of appetite, twisted necks, clonic spasms, apathy, fever, coughing, dyspnea, and sneezing [3]. Outbreaks can be managed with the reestablishment of high hygiene standards in affected poultry farms and prophylactic bird vaccination [4]. Every single suspicion of an avian ND outbreak must be reported to public authorities.

Chronic Infection
  • Whether hepatitis A virus (HAV), which does not cause chronic infection, activates NF-κB is a topic of controversy.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Intravenous Administration
  • The recombinant NDV selectively replicates in and kills tumor cells and is able to drive potent tumor growth inhibition following intratumoral or intravenous administration in a mouse tumor model.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Liver Fibrosis
  • Additionally, NDV has the potential to break various types of tumor resistances and also to affect liver fibrosis. A main section is devoted to the benefits of clinical application of NDV and NDV-based vaccines to cancer patients.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]


If a patient presents with mild unexplained conjunctivitis and is in regular contact with affected birds, public authorities should be immediately informed about a potential ND outbreak. The causative RNA virus can be detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) [5], reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), or plaque neutralization test [6] [7] [8]. RT-PCR is often favored because of its unsurpassed specificity.

If the virus has been detected, the patient working with susceptible animals should be advised to decontaminate all equipment (tools, cars) and clothes that may have picked up the virus. Human symptoms of ND do not require particular medical attention since they resolve spontaneously. Ingestion of poultry products does not trigger an infection in humans [3].

Notably, paramyxovirus-1 has recently been presented as a potential oncolytic agent in humans and mammals in general [9].


  • Newcastle Disease Virus Vaccine (MTH-68/H) was administered to patients suffering from advanced neoplastic diseases after non-efficient tumor-destructive treatment. Case reports of selected patients suggest promising effects of this treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • This would give rise to a population of cancer cells that remains viable and resistant to treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Of the various combinatorial approaches discussed, the most promising and feasible for clinical practice appears to be the combination of systemic NDV pre-treatment with anti-tumor vaccination.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • We conclude that NDV treatment induced EGAS viability suppression, but subsequent downregulation of Rac1 gene may reduce the NDV replication and lead to regrowth of EGAS tissue.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • CONCLUSIONS: The study provides a new platform to develop effective therapeutic agents for tumor treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]


  • Abstract Pancreatic cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and the tumor with the poorest prognosis of all solid malignancies.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]


  • Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 4 Institute of Infection and Global Health, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Cheshire CH64 7TE, UK.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Sex distribution
Age distribution


  • Although the current vaccines are substantially effective, they do not completely prevent infection, virus shedding and disease.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Gov't MeSH terms Animals Antibodies, Viral/immunology* Blotting, Western China Cluster Analysis Communicable Diseases, Emerging/immunology* Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control Conserved Sequence/immunology Cross Reactions/immunology*[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Author information 1 Department of Molecular Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China; Research Center of Cancer Prevention & Treatment, Translational Medicine Research Center of Liver[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Understanding the preferences for, and relative importance of, different attributes of potential vaccination programmes to prevent NCD will be crucial in designing acceptable and sustainable prevention programmes.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • In poultry industry, certain strains of NDV have been used for preventive vaccination for more than 60 years. NDV has also been applied to cancer patients with beneficial effects for about 50 years, but this is less well known.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]



  1. Ashraf A, Shah MS. Newcastle Disease: Present status and future challenges for developing countries. African J Microbiol Res. 2014;8(5):411-416.
  2. Nelson CB, Pomeroy BS, Schrall K, Park WE, Lindeman RJ. An outbreak of conjunctivitis due to Newcastle disease virus (NDV) occurring in poultry workers. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1952;42(6):672-678.
  3. Abdisa T, Tagesu T. Review on Newcastle Disease of Poultry and its Public Health Importance. J Vet Sci Technol. 2017;8(4):1000441.
  4. Van Boven M, Bouma A, Fabri THF, Katsma E, Hartog L, Koch G. Herd immunity to Newcastle disease virus in poultry by vaccination. Avian Pathol. 2008;37(1): 1–5.
  5. Moro de Sousa RM, Montassier HJ, Pinto AA. Detection and Quantification of Antibodies to Newcastle Disease Virus in Ostrich and Rhea Sera Using a Liquid Phase Blocking Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2000;7(6): 940–944.
  6. Liu H, Zhao Y, Zheng D, et al. Multiplex RT-PCR for rapid detection and differentiation of class I and class II Newcastle disease viruses. J Virol Methods. 2011;171(1):149-155.
  7. Tang Q, Wanga J, Bao J, et al. A multiplex RT-PCR assay for detection and differentiation of avian H3, H5, and H9 subtype influenza viruses and Newcastle disease viruses. J Virol Methods. 2012;181(2):164-169.
  8. Shahzad M, Rizvi F, Khan A, et al. Diagnosis of avain paramyxovirus type-1 infection in chicken by immunoflourescence technique. Int J Agric Biol. 2011;13(2): 266-270.
  9. Zamarin D, Palese P. Oncolytic Newcastle Disease Virus for cancer therapy: old challenges and new directions. Future Microbiol. 2012;7(3): 347–367.

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Last updated: 2019-06-28 11:43