HomePhilippine Journal of Veterinary Medicinevol. 53 no. 2 (2016)

Serological and Molecular Detection of Newcastle Disease Virus from Captive Raptors in a Wildlife Rescue Center in the Philippines

Emilia A. Lastica-ternura, Dvm, Ms | Maria Sofea C. Ty | Dennis V. Umali, Dvm, Phd



Relatively little is known about the distribution of Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) among raptors in the Philippines. Serological and molecular detection of NDV wereperformed in apparently healthy and clinically-ill captive raptors from a wildlife rescue center. Results showed that out of 42 raptors, 16 (38.11%) were positive for NDV antibodies, which include fve Brahminy Kites, fve White-bellied Sea Eagles, one Changeable Hawk-eagle, one Philippine Hawk-eagle, one Crested Serpent Eagle, one Black Kite, one Crested Goshawk and one Philippine Eagle. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) NDV antibody titers were 27 to 210 with a geometric mean titer (GMT) of 29. Except for minor physical injuries and non-specifc lesions, all raptors did not show clinical signs of Newcastle Disease (ND )at the time of examination. Molecular detection through nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (nRT PCR) using pooled oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs showed that all raptors were negative. The presence of unusually high antibody titers, the absence of clinical signs and the negative nRT-PCR results may suggest that the raptors were exposed to virulent NDV but may have already recovered from clinical disease. The study showed that apparently healthy and clinically ill captive raptors may be infected with NDVs and that they may play important roles in the epidemiology of ND in the feld.