Wild birds are considered to be the natural reservoir of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV; avian paramyxovirus-1) causing New-castle disease, and are often suspected to be involved in outbreaks in domesticated birds. To assess the epidemiologic status of wild birds living, or overwintering, in Switzerland, 3,049 cloacal swabs covering the period 2003–2006 were screened for NDV, using real time RT-PCR. All samples were negative. This result seems in contrast with previously performed serologic screenings of wild birds.
Key words: Avian paramyxovirus-1, New-castle disease, real time RT-PCR, Switzerland, wild birds.