Authors:Mohamed R. Mousa, Faten F. Mohammed, Ayman H. El-deeb, Hanan Saad Khalefa and Kawkab A. Ahmed
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) remains a constant threat to the poultry industry even with intensive vaccination programmes. In the present study, 40 samples were collected from farms showing high mortalities in some Egyptian governorates between 2016 and 2018. Tracheal samples were collected for virus isolation and confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Molecular characterisation was performed by sequencing, followed by phylogenetic analysis of the novel sequences. Histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations were performed on different organs from NDV-infected broilers. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the NDV isolates from different areas of Egypt were genetically closely related and all belonged to genotype VII. The histopathological hallmarks included haemorrhagic tracheitis, interstitial pneumonia with syncytia formation, haemorrhagic proventriculitis, necrotising pancreatitis, pan-lymphoid depletion, non-suppurative encephalitis and nephritis. Immunological detection of NDV antigen clarified the widespread presence of viral antigen in different organs with severe lesions. The present study confirmed that a virulent NDV of genotype VII became the predominant strain, causing severe outbreaks in poultry farms in Egypt. The presence of viral antigen in different organs indicates the pantropic nature of the virus. Immunohistochemistry was a very useful diagnostic tool for the detection of NDV antigen.