Genomic Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Newcastle Disease Virus Genotypes in Africa: Implications for Diagnosis, Vaccination, and Regional Collaboration.

16 May 2024
Amoia CF, Hakizimana JN, Chengula AA, Munir M, Misinzo G, Weger-Lucarelli J
The emergence of new virulent genotypes and the continued genetic drift of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) implies that distinct genotypes of NDV are simultaneously evolving in different geographic locations across the globe, including throughout Africa, where NDV is an important veterinary pathogen. Expanding the genomic diversity of NDV increases the possibility of diagnostic and vaccine failures. In this review, we systematically analyzed the genetic diversity of NDV genotypes in Africa using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Information published between 1999 and 2022 were used to obtain the genetic background of different genotypes of NDV and their geographic distributions in Africa. The following genotypes were reported in Africa: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XI, XIII, XIV, XVII, XVIII, XX, and XXI. A new putative genotype has been detected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, of 54 African countries, only 26 countries regularly report information on NDV outbreaks, suggesting that this number may be vastly underestimated. With eight different genotypes, Nigeria is the country with the greatest genotypic diversity of NDV among African countries. Genotype VII is the most prevalent group of NDV in Africa, which was reported in 15 countries. A phylogeographic analysis of NDV sequences revealed transboundary transmission of the virus in Eastern Africa, Western and Central Africa, and in Southern Africa. A regional and continental collaboration is recommended for improved NDV risk management in Africa.