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Newcastle disease (ND) is a notifiable disease affecting chickens and other avian species caused by virulent strains of Avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1). While outbreaks of ND can have devastating consequences, avirulent strains of APMV-1 generally cause subclinical infections or mild disease. However, viruses can cause different levels of disease in different species and virulence can evolve following cross-species transmission events. This report describes the detection of three cases of avirulent APMV-1 infection in Great Britain (GB). Case 1 emerged from the ‘testing to exclude’ scheme in chickens in Shropshire while cases 2 and 3 were made directly from notifiable avian disease investigations in chicken broilers in Herefordshire and on premises in Wiltshire containing ducks and mixed species, respectively). Class II/genotype I.1.1 APMV-1 from case 1 shared 99.94% identity to the Queensland V4 strain of APMV-1. Class II/genotype II APMV-1 was detected from case 2 while the class II/genotype I.2 virus from case 3 aligned closely with strains isolated from Anseriformes. Exclusion of ND through rapid detection of avirulent APMV-1 is important where clinical signs caused by avirulent or virulent APMV-1s could be ambiguous. Understanding the diversity of APMV-1s circulating in GB is critical to understanding disease threat from these adaptable viruses.
Vitamin D (VD) deficiency (serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration of < 20 ng/ml), in endemic proportions, demands a supplementation strategy with optimal dosing regimens. A randomised parallel-group, active-controlled trial was conducted among apparently healthy, VD-deficient subjects, aged 18–60 years who received 600 μg/d (Group A), 1000 μg/d (Group B), 2000 μg/d (Group C) and 60 000 μg/month (Group D) of oral cholecalciferol. The intervention was carried in two phases (I and II) of 12 weeks each, with same dose, separated by a washout phase of 12 weeks. Serum 25(OH)D, intact parathyroid hormones (iPTH), Ca, phosphorous (PO4), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and spot urine Ca/Cr were measured at baseline, 12, 24 and 36 weeks following the intervention, and adverse events were recorded at each occurrence and at 12, 24 and 36 weeks. A statistically significant time–group interaction was found in serum 25(OH)D concentration (P < 0·05). Serum 25(OH)D concentration increased significantly from baseline to 12 weeks (P < 0·05) in all the groups with no change at 24 weeks but further increase at 36 weeks (P < 0·05). At the end of the study, Group C had maximum increment in serum 25(OH)D concentration, while as Groups C and D (95 %, and 90 %) had higher proportion of subjects VD sufficient than Groups A and B (65 % and 78 %) (P < 0·05). No significant time–dose interactions were observed in serum iPTH, Ca, PO4 and ALP or urine Ca/Cr ratio. Three subjects (two in Group C and one in Group D) developed transient hypercalciuria. Supplementation with daily 2000 μg or monthly 60 000 μg of oral cholecalciferol among adults seems optimal and safe.
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