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This study compared the serum biochemical responses of cockerels and turkeys infected with a velogenic Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Two hundred and fourty birds of one hundred and twenty each were used for the study. The birds were obtained at day-old and were randomly divided into eight groups of four groups for each bird species. Two groups from both bird types were vaccinated against NDV with La Sota vaccine at three weeks of age. The vaccinated and unvaccinated cockerels and turkeys were subsequently inoculated with the velogenic NDV after six weeks while the control groups were not vaccinated and not inoculated. Blood samples were randomly collected from five birds in each group for serum biochemical analyses at days 0, 3, 6, 10, 15 and 21 post inoculation (pi). Parameters determined included serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase activities, total serum proteins, albumin, globulin, blood glucose level, total cholesterol, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. Data generated were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results showed decreased (p<0.05) total serum protein, albumin, globulin, plasma glucose and total cholesterol levels in unvaccinated infected cockerels, unvaccinated and vaccinated infected turkeys and subsequent increased (p<0.05) serum globulin. Hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hypoglobulinemia, hypoglycemia and hypocholesterolemia with subsequent hyperglobulinemia may be signs of velogenic NDV infection in turkeys. The absence of negative effects in some parameters in vaccinated infected turkeys further confirmed that vaccination not only prevents mortality due to velogenic NDV but also reduces pathologic effects in infected birds.
Keywords: Blood biochemistry, Velogenic NDV, Cockerels, Turkeys