Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infects domestic and wild avian species with high mortality and morbidity worldwide. Although this disease is mainly controlled through NDV vaccines, alternative use of antiviral compounds is increasingly under study. Resiquimod (R-848), an imidazoquinoline compound is a potent synthetic agonist of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7). Until now reports regarding the adjuvant potential of resiquimod is well established against human viruses but has been less explored against avian viruses. In the present study, we have analysed the anti-NDV effect of resiquimod in chicken embryo fibroblast cells (DF-1) and embryonated chicken eggs. About 70% reduction in NDV replication was observed 48 h and 72 h post-resiquimod treatment in DF-1 cells. Furthermore, differential host genes expression was observed in resiquimod treated DF-1 cells, PBMCs, and tissue sample of chicken embryos at a different time point. Among all the analyzed genes, significant up-regulation of viperin, IFNα, IFNγ, IL-1β, TNFα, IL18 were observed in its transcriptional level. Furthermore, resiquimod treatment showed NDV reduction in two weeks old chickens. About 61% and 38% reduction in NDV replication was observed 72 h post-infection in lungs and spleen, respectively. The study suggests the modulation of host innate immunity regulatory genes by resiquimod, which eventually modulates the NDV replication. The result of the study could be explored further to establish resiquimod as an alternative antiviral compound against NDV. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.