To generate a genotype VII Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccine with high yield in embryonated chicken eggs, we selected genotype VII NDV strain JS5/05, which possesses a high virus titer in embryos as the parental virus. Using reverse genetics, we generated a genetically tagged derivative (NDV/AI4) of JS5/05 by changing the amino acid sequence of the cleavage site of the F0 protein. Pathogenicity tests showed that NDV/AI4 was completely avirulent. NDV/AI4 was genetically stable and replicated efficiently during 10 consecutive passages in embryos. More importantly, serologic assays showed that oil-emulsion NDV/AI4 induced higher hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers against the prevalent virus than oil-emulsion LaSota vaccine in chickens and geese. Moreover, NDV/AI4-induced HI titers rose faster than those elicited by LaSota in chickens. Both NDV/AI4 and LaSota provided protection against clinical disease and mortality after the challenge with the genotype VII NDV strain JS3/05. However, NDV/AI4 significantly reduced virus shedding from the vaccinated birds compared to LaSota. Taken together, these results suggest that NDV/AI4 can provide better protection than LaSota and is a promising vaccine candidate against genotype VII NDV.
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