This present study was conducted to determine the sero-prevalence of Newcastle disease (ND) antibodies in both local and exotic chickens in Gwagwalada, Nigeria. Two hundred sera were randomly collected post slaughter from chickens and analysed by Haemagglutination (HI) and Haemagglutination Inhibition Test (HIT). Fifty structured questionnaires were distributed among poultry keepers, workers and other stakeholders to evaluate their level of awareness and impact of avian ND in the study area. Results revealed an overall sero-prevalence of 63.5%. Breed sero-prevalence was 54% and 73% for local and exotic chickens respectively. However, 46% local chickens and 27% of exotic chickens had no detectable antibodies. Statistical analysis of the avian ND antibody titres showed association between breeds of chickens [P˂0.05; (χ2=7.79); df= 1)]. The questionnaire study further revealed high level of ND awareness and the adverse effects of ND virus in poultry. Local breeds were rarely vaccinated against ND virus as indicated by the respondents and low antibody titres detected. This study provides preliminary information on ND prevalence in exotic and local chickens in Gwagwalada. Hence, the need to conduct further researches on ND in the study area using molecular diagnostic techniques in order to affirm disease burden and impact especially amongst local chickens for the purpose of control.
Key words: Newcastle disease antibodies, sero-prevalence, haemagglutination, questionnaires.
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