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Newcastle disease (ND) is a viral disease that poses a threat to the global poultry industry even a century after it was first described in Indonesia in 1926. 

Newcastle disease (ND) is a viral infection that requires notification, this infection has spread as an endemic or epidemic disease in both developed and underdeveloped countries and has become prevalent in the non-integrated poultry production systems of several developing countries.

Newcastle disease is highly contagious, caused by infection with a strain of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) that is classified in the Paramyxoviridae family. This disease can produce different clinical signs in affected birds and can cause high mortality. Young birds are particularly susceptible.

The disease can manifest from mild disease to subclinical disease.

  • Affected systems may be respiratory, digestive, and/or nervous and symptoms include:
  • Immobility.
  • Depression.
  • Reduced feed/water intake.
  • Decreased egg production in laying hens,.
  • Abnormally soft shells.
  • Respiratory distress (yawning, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, and rales).
  • Greenish-yellow diarrhea.
  • Neurological symptoms (such as tremors, incoordination, twisted neck wings, falls, and paralysis) may also manifest. 

Transmission of Newcastle disease (ND) 

The disease is spread by direct contact with the body fluids of infected poultry, especially their droppings and respiratory secretions.

It should be noted that there are also predisposing factors in the transmission of the disease such as; international trade, the commercialization of live birds, migratory routes, wild birds.

  • Affected birds eliminate the virus through body secretions, especially feces (King, 1999), which are the main source of dissemination of virulent enteric strains (Icochea, 2007). Similarly, Newcastle disease (ND) can also be transmitted indirectly by people and objects that come into contact with infected poultry or their secretions (feces). 


The elements that can spread the disease are: 

  • Vehicles: Both the vehicles that enter our facilities and the people who drove them must be cleaned and disinfected since they can act as spreaders of diseases. Cleaning both the interior and exterior of the car is very important, special care must be taken with the wheels. 
  • Equipment: Countless objects enter our facilities. In addition to raw materials that our suppliers enter, so we must exercise strict control and sterilize all items, making sure that they are all properly disinfected. 
  • Clothes: The number of visitors who access our facilities should be minimized, only the people necessary for the operation of the facility should enter. 
  • Water and food: The microbiological quality of the water must be high, in addition, proper cleaning and regular maintenance must be carried out on the bird feeders and nipples to avoid the risk of spreading the disease. 

Incubation period 

According to the Colombian Agricultural Institute (CAI) the incubation period for Newcastle Disease is from 7 to 21 days, the virus is eliminated during the entire incubation period in the clinical stages and also for a limited period during convalescence.

Some Wild and Aquatic Birds can act as reservoirs of lentegenic pathotypes of the virus, which, when passed to poultry, can undergo mutations that make it a highly virulent disease.

It has been shown that some Psittacidae can shed the virus for up to 1 year and introduce it into backyard flocks. 

Risks and effects on public health 

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Newcastle disease causes a very mild zoonosis (animal disease that can infect humans), it can cause conjunctivitis in humans. 

Controlling this disease requires the intervention of many human and animal health professionals. Currently, Newcastle disease (ND) is controlled in Canada, the United States, and some Western European countries, and is still present in parts of Africa, Asia and South America.

It is important to note that since wild birds sometimes carry the virus without being sick, outbreaks can occur anywhere birds are raised. 

How to prevent Newcastle disease

It is vitally important to mention that the risk of spreading Newcastle can be reduced if a good biosafety plan is in place.

Biosafety refers to all measures taken to keep diseases and disease-carrying pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other microorganisms) away from poultry, property, and people.

Good biosafety helps protect birds from Newcastle disease. Flocks should not be allowed to come into contact with domestic birds of unknown health status, pet birds (particularly psittacines), and wild or feral birds (particularly cormorants, gulls, and pigeons). Additionally, whenever possible, workers should avoid contact with birds outside the farm.

Also, keep in mind that birds can get sick or die from exposure to a few invisible viral particles. In a single day, the virus can multiply and infect all the birds on a farm. The best way to keep your poultry healthy is with enhanced biosafety. 


  • Restrict traffic inside and outside the farm.
  • Reinforce and periodically review the perimeter fencing of the facilities.
  • Check the facility’s water system for damaged elements and repair if necessary to prevent elements or animals from having access to it.
  • Use of footbaths, wheelbaths and disinfection arches to disinfect shoes and vehicle wheels.
  • Clean and disinfect clothing, hands, egg trays or floors, boxes.
  • Avoid visits to other farms.
  • Wash hands, clean and disinfect boots before and after entering a farm.
  • Clean and disinfect tools.
  • Clean and disinfect the facilities.
  • Look for signs of illness.
  • Report cases of sick birds immediately.

Products to use in the Biosafety plan

To carry out a correct cleaning and disinfection we need the following product

  • Cleaning:

As is well known, livestock farms are places where conditions of a high content of organic matter, heat, humidity, and high density of animals. These conditions make our facilities the optimal place for the proliferation of pathogenic organisms. For this reason, it is necessary to carry out a correct cleaning with an alkaline detergent capable of removing the organic matter that protected pathogenic microorganisms.

For this, we recommend the use of Clean Zix Foaming detergent to carry out a correct cleaning and descaling of organic matter.



In this way, all parts of the farm will be exposed so that the disinfectants can act and reach the greatest number of microorganisms present. 



  • Disinfection:

Once the cleaning is done, it is time to combat microorganisms by confronting them with broad-spectrum products, with a non-specific mechanism of action that prevents the appearance of resistance, that are kind to animals, staff, and the environment. 

For this, we recommend the disinfectants Virox (potassium monopersulfate in powder form) and Zix Virox (synergistic combination of peroxides and peracetic acid in liquid form).

These products have an oxidation mechanism of action that is non-specific, broad-spectrum, and fully biodegradable. Zix Virox has been tested against Newcastle Disease at 1% in highly dirty conditions UNE-EN 14675: 2015. 


Biosafetyis of vital importance to prevent the spread of the disease. The disinfection of people, elements, raw materials, animals, and facilities is essential and must be carried out with disinfectants with proven efficacy against Newcastle disease, such as Zix Virox, whose efficacy has been tested against ND at 1% under high conditions. dirt UNE-EN 14675: 2015.

If we follow the biosafety and prevention measures exhaustively and without fail, we will not only be able to protect ourselves against Newcastle and other types of diseases, but these measures will act in a complementary manner to other biosafety measures that are being implemented in the different links in the production chain. In addition, we will be indirectly protecting society in general. 

The key to success is to get the involvement of all the personnel involved in the production, everyone must be aware of the importance of biosafety to put all the necessary effort into applying the measures effectively, only in this way can the disease be prevented and prevent the spread of the virus in animals and humans. 

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