1887

Abstract

Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is endemic in Bangladesh and is a major threat to commercial poultry operations. While complete fusion (F) genes are recommended for molecular characterization and classification of NDV isolates, heretofore, only partial F gene data have been available for Bangladeshi NDVs. To this end, we obtained the full-length F gene coding sequences of 11 representative NDVs isolated in Bangladesh between 2010 and 2017. In addition, one of the viruses (MK934289/chicken/Bangladesh/C161/2010) was used in an experimental infection of chickens to establish the viral pathotype and study gross and microscopic lesions. Phylogenetic analysis provided evidence that all studied Bangladeshi isolates belong to genotype XIII.2 of class II NDVs. Six of the viruses were isolated between 2010 and 2017 and grouped together with isolates from neighbouring India during 2013–2016. Another four Bangladeshi isolates (2010–2016) formed a separate monophyletic branch within XIII.2 and showed high nucleotide distance from the isolates from India and the other six Bangladeshi viruses within the sub-genotype; however, none of these groups fulfils all classification criteria to be named as a separate sub-genotype. The eleventh Bangladeshi virus studied here (C162) was genetically more distant from the remaining isolates. It out-grouped the viruses from sub-genotypes XIII.2.1 and XIII.2.2 and showed more than 9.5 % nucleotide distance from all genotype XIII sub-genotypes. This isolate may represent an NDV variant that is evolving independently from the other viruses in the region. The experimental infection in chickens revealed that the tested isolate (C161) is a velogenic viscerotropic virus. Massive haemorrhages, congestion and necrosis in different visceral organs, and lymphoid depletion in lymphoid tissues, typical for infection with velogenic NDV, were observed. Our findings demonstrate the endemic circulation of sub-genotype XIII.2 in Southcentral Asia and further genetic diversification of these viruses in Bangladesh and neighbouring India. This constant evolution of the viruses may lead to the establishment of new genetic groups in the region. Additional historical and prospective virus and surveillance data from the region and neighbouring countries will allow a more detailed epidemiological inference.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • MohammadRafiqul Islam , Ministry of Education, Bangladesh , (Award LS20191152)
  • MohammadRafiqul Islam , Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh , (Award MoST: BS-218/2016-17)
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2021-01-28
2021-02-26
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