The pathogenesis of pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 (PPMV-1) isolate AV324/96 and of its recombinant derivative, rgAV324, was studied in pigeons. For comparison, the virulent chicken virus FL-Herts, which is a recombinant derivative of strain Herts/33, was also included. After inoculation by the combined intraocular, intranasal and intratracheal route, clinical signs, virus shedding and serological responses were examined. Clinical signs were observed only in the FL-Herts-infected group. All virus-inoculated pigeons had positive tracheal swabs until 5 days post infection. However, only the AV324/96-infected and rgAV324-infected birds, and not the FL-Herts-infected birds, shed virus in the cloaca. The AV324/96-infected pigeons showed higher mean antibody titres than the rgAV324-infected birds, whereas the antibody titres of the FL-Herts-infected group were rather low. The results show that the pigeon strain AV324 is not virulent for pigeons, but underlines the potential risk of poultry becoming infected by PPMV-1 shed by non-symptomatic pigeons
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