A Method for Detection of Newcastle Disease Virus RNA from Double-Crested Cormorant Tissue Samples
Newcastle Disease Virus came to our attention when an outbreak occurred in Double-crested cormorants of the Great Lakes region. This outbreak prompted our interest in the patterns of viral transmission among cormorant populations as well as between cormorant flocks and other species. Methods to detect the virus in infected birds were devised using authentic Newcastle Disease Virus as a positive control. After isolation of RNA, detection of the virus was possible by the processes of reverse transcriptase and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Determination of the sensitivity of our reactions showed that we were able to detect 4 genomes of viral RNA using RT-PCR. Analysis by spectrophotometry indicated that the methods devised resulted in RNA of satisfactory yield and purity. Further research using these methods would permit early detection of NDV in samples obtained from field studies. Furthermore, this method would be valuable in determining possible modes of virus spread between cormorants and other bird species. The technique will also allow study of RNA sequence polymorphism among different strains of the virus.