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Expression of interferon gamma by a highly virulent Newcastle disease virus decreases its pathogenicity in chickens

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Infection of chickens with highly virulent NDV results in rapid death, which is preceded by increased expression of interferon gamma (IFN-g) in target tissues. IFN-g is a cytokine that has pleiotropic biological effects including intrinsic antiviral activity and immunomodulatory effects. Here we assessed the effects of IFN-g on NDV pathogenesis in chickens. For this, the coding sequence of chicken interferon gamma was inserted in the genome of the highly virulent NDV strain ZJ1 (rZJ1-IFNg), and the effects of IFN-g expression were determined in vivo by comparing the pathogenesis of rZJ1-IFNg with a control virus expressing the green fluorescent protein (rZJ1-GFP). Expression of IFN-g decreased the intra cerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) of rZJ1-IFNg, when compared to the control rZJ1-GFP. Additionally rZJ1-IFNg presented a marked decrease in pathogenicity in 4-week-old chickens, as evidenced by lower mortality rates, decreased disease severity, viral shedding, and antigen distribution. These results suggest that early expression of IFN-g during viral replication has a protective effect against virulent NDV infection in chickens, and further suggests that the level and time of expression of IFN-g are critical for the disease outcome.
Leonardo Susta , Ingrid Cornax , Diego G. Diel , Stivalis Cardenas Garcia , Patti J. Miller , Xiufan Liu , Shunlin Hu , Corrie C. Brown , Claudio L. Afonso
USDA Scientist Submission
Microbial pathogenesis 2013 Aug.-Sept. v.61-62
Elsevier Ltd
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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