Submitted to: World Veterinary Poultry Association
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 16, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Research on Marek's disease (MD) has benefitted from many significant advances during the past 40 years. Some of the most recent of these, including the sequencing of the DNA genome and development of technologies to produce recombinant viruses, will be discussed along with their respective implications. The disease incidence, although relatively low compared to historic levels, varies and the host range of the virus appears to be expanding along with its increasing virulence. Methods for classifying viral isolates by pathotype include traditional challenge of immunized chickens and measurement of lymphoma responses, lymphoid organ atrophy, and measurement of neurologic responses--each has advantages and disadvantages. Progress in vaccine development includes the development and characterization of new attenuated variants of contemporary strains. Preattenuated vaccines may provide additional protection but safety issues must be addressed. Synergism is an understudied strategy to leverage the protection afforded by serotype 2 and 3 viruses. Revaccination is a widely used technique but needs further study. A vision for the future of MD vaccinology and long-term control is offered.