Fourteen pigeon-origin Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates were obtained from sick pigeons in China between 1996 and 2005. The mean death time (MDT) of embryonated eggs and the intracerebral pathogenicity indices (ICPI) were tested to determine the virulence of the field isolates. The result indicated that most isolates were proved to be mesogenic (MDT 60∼90 hr and ICPI > 1.2). The main function regions of F protein gene of the isolates were amplified and sequenced for phylogenetic and residue substitutive analysis. The fusion protein cleavage site sequences of most isolates had multiple basic amino acids R/KRQKRF at positions 112–116 and a phenyl alanine at position 117, characteristic of velogenic isolates. In the phylogenetic tree, the majority of the isolates were clustered into a single genetic lineage, termed genotype VIb, and were typical pigeon paramyxovirus type 1, whereas a small number of recent isolates (three strains) were grouped into genotype VIId, a predominant genotype responsible for most Newcastle disease outbreaks in chickens and geese since the end of last century. One isolate, PK9901, was proved to be a lentogenic strain, of genotype II NDV, to which the vaccine strain La Sota belongs.
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Vol. 50 • No. 4