Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2010
Citation: Cheng, H.H. 2010. Viral diseases in chickens. In: Bishop S.C., Axford, R.F.E., Nicholas, F.W., Owen, J.B., editors. Breeding for Disease Resistance in Farm Animals. 3rd edition. Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: CAB International. p. 70-87.
Control of infectious disease has been an important issue for poultry breeders, particularly since the introduction of high density rearing. Selection for enhanced genetic resistance to disease is an important factor for poultry breeding companies in gaining market share, maintaining consumer confidence and, more recently, as part of the solution for increasing animal welfare. Due to the high costs associated with pathogen challenge and the biological complexity of disease resistance, selection has been limited to very few viral diseases where the primary control methods of animal husbandry and vaccination may fail. With the advent of the chicken genome sequence and related genomic technologies, there is great excitement that specific genes and pathways controlling disease resistance will be identified, and the ensuing knowledge can be transferred to poultry breeding to produce commercial poultry resistant to many more diseases using genetic markers and other indirect methods of selection. This chapter highlights the technologies that are making this advance in biological knowledge possible, specific diseases where cutting-edge technologies are being applied, and future prospects