Newcastle Disease

Classification of the Causative Agent – Virus family Paramyxoviridae, genus Rubulavirus

Temperature:    Inactivated by 56°C/3 hours,60°C/30 min
pH:                   Inactivated by acid pH
Chemicals:        Ether sensitive
Disinfectants:    Inactivated by formalin & phenol
Survival:           Survives for long periods in feces

Epidemiology –


  • Many species of birds, domestic & wild
  • Morality /morbidity rates vary among species & strains
  • Chickens most susceptible poultry, ducks/geese least
  • Carrier state may exist in psittacine & some wild birds


  • Direct contact with secretions, feces, from infected birds
  • Contaminated feed, water, implements, premises, clothes

Sources of Virus

  • Respiratory discharges, feces
  • All parts of the carcass
  • Virus shed during incubation & convalescence
  • Psittacines can shed virus intermittently for over 1 year

Diagnosis –

Incubation is four to six days

Clinical Diagnosis

  • Respiratory and/or nervous signs:
    • gasping & coughing
    • drooping wings, dragging legs, twisting of the head & neck, circling, depression, loss of appetite, paralysis
  • Partial or complete cessation of egg production
  • Abnormal eggs, watery albumen
  • Greenish watery diarrhea
  • Swelling around eyes & neck
  • Morbidity/mortality depend on strain, vaccine immunity, environmental conditions & flock health

Prevention & Control –

No treatment

Medical Prophylaxis

  • Vaccination with live and/or oil emulsion vaccine
  • Live B1 & La Sota strains administered in drinking water
  • Other infections may aggravate vaccine reaction

Sanitary Prophylaxis

  • Strict isolation of outbreaks
  • Destruction of all infected & exposed birds
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of premises
  • Proper carcass disposal (bury or burn)
  • Respiratory discharges, feces
  • All parts of the carcass
  • Pest control in flocks
  • Depopulation followed by 21 days before restocking
  • Avoid contact with birds of unknown health status
  • Control of human traffic
  • 1 age group per farm breeding recommended

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