Efficacy of vaccination against infection with velogenic Newcastle disease virus genotypes VI and VII 1.1 strains in Japanese quails
Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a major pathogen of poultry worldwide, causes significant economic losses in the poultry industry. To characterize the ability of recently isolated virulent strains of NDV genotypes VI and VII to cause disease in quails, and to evaluate the efficacy of two NDV vaccines against such strains, Japanese quails were experimentally inoculated with either NDV genotype VI (Pigeon F-VI strain) or VII 1.1 (GHB-328 strain) with or without vaccination with inactivated NDV vaccine of genotype II (La Sota strain) or VII (KBNP strain). Mild to severe neurological signs developed in quails inoculated with the Pigeon F-VI strain from 3 to 14 days post infection (PI) and from 4 to 10 days PI in birds infected with the GHB-328 strain. The mortality rates were 46% and 33% for birds inoculated with NDV VI and NDV VII 1.1, respectively. The severity of histopathological changes depended on the viral isolates used. Vaccination with the La Sota or KBNP vaccine strain successfully protected quails against NDV-induced mortality and decreased the severity of clinical signs, pathological changes and cloacal viral shedding. This study showed that these virulent NDV isolates had mild to moderate pathogenicity in quails and that both vaccines protected against challenge with both virus strains. NDV vaccine genotype VII improved the level of protection against challenge with the VII 1.1 genotype compared with the classic vaccine, but failed to protect quails against challenge with the VI genotype.