Expression of interferon gamma by a highly virulent strain of Newcastle disease virus decreases its pathogenicity in chickens.
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a pathogen that is important in the poultry industry worldwide. Specifically, the virulent (velogenic) NDV is aparticular threat because it has now occurred frequently worldwide. The outbreaks caused by highly virulent NDV in waterfowl and especially in goose flocks, have led to greater concern in recent years as aquatic birds were previously resistant to most virulent NDV strains from chickens. The molecular determinants of host tropism, virulence and emergence of NDV isolated from diseased goose flocks are poorly understood. In the present study, we rescued a highly virulent NDV isolated from a goose using the reverse genetics approach. Infectious virus was successfully generated by cotransfection of a full-length cDNA clone of the NDV strain ZJ1 with helper plasmids. The recombinant NDV was indistinguishable from the parental wild-type virus with respect to its growth kinetics in cell culture as well as its biological properties. A recombinant NDV expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was generated, and GFP was subsequently detected in cells and various organs from the infected chickens.