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Seroprevalence and molecular detection of Newcastle disease virus in backyard chickens in Tripoli, Libya

Emhemed A. Gedara
Hesham A. Alseed
Abdulwahab M. Kammon
Abdunaser S. Dayhum
Mohamed A. Benothman
Soleman O. Al-Garib
Ibrahim M. Eldaghayes


Background: Newcastle disease (ND) is a viral disease that affecting many avian species all over the world.
Aim: ND has been successfully controlled by the vaccination of commercial poultry in Libya. However, there was a lack of information about the situation of ND in backyard chickens. Therefore, this study determined the prevalence of ND in backyard chickens in different locations of Tripoli.
Methods: A total number of 280 cloacal swabs (190 in summer and 90 in winter) and 412 sera were collected from non-vaccinated backyard chicken flocks in different geographical locations within the area of Tripoli namely Qasr Ben Ghashier, Al-Sawani, Souq Al-Gomaa, Tajourah, Ein Zara, and Janzour. Cloacal swabs and sera were tested by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ELISA, respectively.
Results: The prevalence of ND virus (NDV) infection in backyard chickens in different locations of Tripoli during summer and winter was 45% using real-time reverse transcription-PCR. Except in Qasr Ben Ghashier, the prevalence in summer season was significantly higher than in winter (X2 = 46.13, p ≥ 0.00001). ELISA test revealed 218 positive out of 412 tested samples with total prevalence of 53% across the city of Tripoli in all regions. Obviously, Qasr Ben Ghashier had significantly (X2 = 74.09, p ≥ 0.00001) the highest prevalence (82%) of NDV specific antibodies followed
by Tajourah (68%).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated the situation of ND in backyard chicken highlighting the necessity of a comprehensive vaccination plan for backyard chickens.

Keywords: Backyard chickens, ELISA, Newcastle disease, Prevalence, Real time PCR.