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1 October 2001 Newcastle Disease Virus in Double-crested Cormorants in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi
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In order to understand the epidemiology of Newcastle disease (ND) outbreaks in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), a study was conducted on wintering migratory cormorants (P. a. auritus) in Alabama and Mississippi (USA) and non-migratory cormorants (P. a. floridanus) that breed in Florida (USA). Antibodies against ND virus were detected by the hemagglutination-inhibition method in sera from 86 of 183 (47%) migratory cormorants over-wintering in eight roosting sites in Alabama and Mississippi between November, 1997 and April, 1999. Titers ranged from 5 to 40. Antibody prevalences in sera collected from females in early winter (November and December) (26%) and late winter (February and March) (56%) were significantly different (P = 0.0007). None of 45 serum samples from 1- to 7-wk-old nestlings from 11 colonies in Florida during the 1997–98 and 1998–99 breeding seasons was positive. However, antibodies were detected in yolk samples from 98 of 126 (78%) eggs collected in these same colonies. Titers ranged from 4 to 256. The prevalence of antibodies in eggs collected from fresh-water colonies (63% prevalence, n = 30) and salt-water colonies (82% prevalence, n = 96) was significantly different (P = 0.041). ND virus was not isolated from tissues of 18 cormorants and cloacal and tracheal swabs from 202 cormorants collected in Alabama and Mississippi; virus was also not isolated from cloacal and tracheal swabs from 51 nestlings from Florida.

Jacqueline M. Farley, Carlos H. Romero, Marilyn G. Spalding, Michael L. Avery, and Donald J. Forrester "Newcastle Disease Virus in Double-crested Cormorants in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 37(4), 808-812, (1 October 2001).
Received: 22 August 2000; Published: 1 October 2001

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