Newcastle disease


Newcastle disease is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry .

It is considered one of the most important avian diseases in the world. It is caused by an RNA virus avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1). According to its virulence, the virus is classified as:

  • Virulent : mandatory reporting (previously velogenic and mesogenic);
  • Low virulence : not to be declared (previously lentogenic).

The virus can infect more than 250 species of birds of all ages. Chickens and turkeys are particularly susceptible and can experience morbidity and mortality rates of up to 100% when a virulent strain is involved. Newcastle disease can also affect other commercial poultry, game birds, ratites (emus and ostriches), and various pet, hobby, and zoo birds.

Newcastle disease is not a significant food safety or public health problem for healthy people who do not have regular contact with infected birds. It can cause transient hemorrhagic conjunctivitis in humans, but the condition has been limited primarily to laboratory workers and members of vaccination teams exposed to large quantities of virus.

In Canada, the last outbreak in domestic poultry was in 1973. In countries where highly virulent strains of APMV-1 have been eradicated from poultry, including the United States and Canada, embargoes and trade restrictions can lead to significant economic losses during epidemics, causing import restrictions and eradication by destroying infected poultry.

Good biosecurity practices are essential to prevent the introduction and spread of disease.

For a detailed description of these diseases and control measures, please consult the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website as well as the EQCMA document Detecting notifiable diseases in poultry .


For more information on Newcastle disease, visit the CFIA website: Newcastle disease