During the first 11 months of the 2002–2003 exotic Newcastle disease (END) epidemic in chickens in southern California, a total of 27,688 cloacal and tracheal (oropharyngeal) swab pools and/or tissue pools from 86 different avian species other than chickens and turkeys were submitted for Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolation and characterization. Fifty-seven specimens (0.23%), representing 12 species of birds and 13 unspecified species, from a total of 24,409 accessions or submissions were positive for NDV. The NDV isolate was characterized as ENDV by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Of the 11,486 premises with other avian species, 1599 also had chickens. There were 1900 positive chicken samples from 164 premises, and 56 positive other avian species from 51 premises. Twelve premises had both positive chickens and positive other avian species. All positive other avian species were located on premises either on or within a 1 km radius of known infected premises. In this epidemic, premises with positive other avian species were significantly more likely to have chickens, and were significantly more likely to have positive chickens (OR = 3.7, P < 0.0001).
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Vol. 49 • No. 2