1887

Abstract

Virulence of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is mainly determined by the amino acid sequence surrounding the fusion (F) protein cleavage site, since host proteases that cleave the F protein of virulent strains are present in more tissues than those that cleave the F protein of non-virulent strains. Nevertheless, comparison of NDV strains that carry exactly the same F protein cleavage site shows that significant differences in virulence still exist. For instance, virulent field strain Herts/33 with the F cleavage site RRQRRF had an intracerebral pathogenicity index of 1·88 compared with 1·28 for strain NDFLtag, which has the same cleavage site. This implies that additional factors contribute to virulence. After generating an infectious clone of Herts/33 (FL-Herts), we were able to map the location of additional virulence factors by exchanging sequences between FL-Herts and NDFLtag. The results showed that, in addition to the F protein cleavage site, the haemagglutinin–neuraminidase (HN) protein also contributed to virulence. The effect of the HN protein on virulence was most prominent after intravenous inoculation. Interestingly, both the stem region and the globular head of the HN protein seem to be involved in determining virulence.

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2005-06-01
2019-10-18
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