We investigated the interaction between Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and Escherichia coli in cell cultures, embryonated eggs, and 8-wk-old chickens. We measured the interactions on the basis of bacterial adherence and NDV hemagglutination titer in chickens, chicken embryos, and chicken embryo cell culture.
Depending on the inoculation order of E. coli, a significant alteration of the growth of NDV was observed in both chickens and chicken embryos. When certain strains of E. coli were given before NDV exposure, the virus titers were lowered. In chickens, the mean virus titer was significantly (P < 0.05) lowered in the crop, the proventriculus, the gizzard, and the jejunum. However, there were no significant differences (P < 0.05) between the two groups for NDV titers in the duodenum, ileum, and cecum. In chicken embryos, when E. coli serotypes O78 and O119:B14 were inoculated before NDV exposure, the mean NDV titers were significantly (P < 0.5) lowered. However, there were no significant differences (P < 0.05) in NDV titer between the two groups when E. coli serotypes O78:K80:NM and O1ab:K:NM were inoculated 24 hr before NDV exposure.
When NDV was given prior to E. coli exposure, NDV titer was higher in both chickens and chicken embryos. In chickens, when NDV was given 48 hr before E. coli inoculation, NDV was detected in the proventriculus, gizzard, jejunum, ileum, and cecum, whereas no virus was detected in the control groups (NDV only). In the crop, NDV was detected at a significantly (P < 0.05) higher titer in the E. coli-inoculated group when compared with the control group that received NDV alone. In chicken embryos, virus titer was significantly (P < 0.05) higher when NDV was given 24 hr before E. coli inoculation for all three NDV strains used (Ulster and V4 strains).
Adherence of E. coli to chicken embryo kidney (CEK) cells was significantly higher (P < 0.05) when the CEK cells were infected first with NDV and then by E. coli. The mean bacterial count per microscopic field in NDV-uninfected monolayers was eight compared with 112 for the NDV-infected monolayers. In approximately 10% of the fields in NDV-infected monolayers, the bacteria were too numerous to count.