Newcastle Disease Management

Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan on behalf of its relevant stakeholders.

Newcastle disease (ND) is a viral disease of domestic poultry and wild birds characterised by gastrointestinal, respiratory and nervous signs.

The virus strains that cause ND can be categorised into three different types, based on their virulence (degree of harm) in chickens:

  • velogenic (highly virulent; cause severe disease; often fatal disease)
  • mesogenic (intermediate; cause coughing, reduced egg quality and production losses; some fatalities)
  • lentogenic (avirulent or non-pathogenic; cause subclinical infection or mild respiratory symptoms; negligible fatalities).

Most ND strains are either velogenic or lentogenic; some are mesogenic.

While the epidemiology of ND is not completely understood, it is thought that wild birds, in particular water fowl, may be the reservoir for lentogenic strains of ND virus. These viruses could become more virulent after establishing in poultry.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) disease card on Newcastle disease provides detailed information on the worldwide distribution and importance of ND, including its aetiology (classification of the causative agent), epidemiology (host species, clinical and pathological signs and modes of transmission), diagnosis, control and public health relevance.

Australia’s Newcastle disease status

National response to Newcastle disease

Previous national Newcastle disease management plans

Current Newcastle disease management plan

Newcastle disease vaccination program