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Appendix 1. Newcastle disease: an overview

Newcastle disease is a severe clinical manifestation of infection with Newcastle disease virus. The disease is seen mainly in chickens.

In chickens, Newcastle disease often causes high or total mortality in a flock. Chickens may die without showing any clinical signs of infection.

Common clinical signs of acute infection

Greenish blood-stained diarrhoea



Torticollis (abnormal position and twisting of the neck, limited movements of the head)


Respiratory distress

Loss of appetite

Common post-mortem findings

Hyperaemia and congestion in respiratory tract

Serous or catarrhal exudates in larynx and trachea

Thickened air sacs, may contain yellow exudates

Haemorrhagic lesions in digestive tract: with some necrosis especially in proventriculus

Haemorrhages in the intestinal lymphoid nodules and caecal tonsils

Enlarged spleen


Presumptive: Based on clinical signs and post mortem findings

Unequivocal: Isolation of virulent Newcastle disease virus from samples for example blood, bone, spleen, lungs

Sero-diagnosis: Monitoring of antibody levels in acute and convalescent serum samples.

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