Paramyxoviruses see also                   BRSV

                                                  ⇒        Parainfluenza Viruses

                                                         Distemper Virus

                                                         Sunshine Coast Virus

 

General information

Paramyxoviruses are enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses. They mainly cause respiratory disorders in humans and many animal species, but are also the causative agents of severe systemic diseases.

Birds

Avian Paramyxovirus 1 (aPMV-1, Newcastle Disease Virus)

Newcastle disease virus is an avian paramyxovirus which can infect many different avian species. In fowl, Newcastle disease is also called atypical fowl pest. There are different pathogenic strains which produce clinical symptoms of varying severity, from subclinical to peracute diseases. Most notably, affected animals can develop respiratory and CNS symptoms; loss of performance, diarrhoea and sudden deaths are also possible. Newcastle disease virus is zoonotic and can cause conjunctivitis, fever, headache and aching limbs in humans.

aPMV-1 is considered the cause of the Newcastle disease once it exceeds a certain pathogenicity index.  Newcastle disease is a notifiable disease.

 

Reptiles

Paramyxovirus/Ferlavirus

Ferlavirus infections most notably occur in snakes. These infections are rarely found in lizards and chelonians. Vipers, elapids, colubrids, boas and pythons are particularly affected. Symptoms of the disease include nasal discharge, breathing with open mouth and breath sounds. In addition to respiratory changes, CNS symptoms are often observed. They include poor muscle tone, compulsive movements, head tremor and opisthotonus. Transmission can occur horizontally from one animal to another, by aerosols or through faeces.

In live animals, the virus can best be detected by obtaining a tracheal wash sample or through a combined pharyngeal and cloacal swab. The most suitable organ samples are lung, followed by brain, pancreas as well as liver, intestine and kidney.