Submitted to: Misset World Poultry
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Marek's disease (MD), the most common neoplastic disease of chickens is caused by a highly contagious, cell associated, oncogenic herpesvirus (MDV). The virus is ubiquitous, all commercial chickens and many chickens in a flock are probably infected with MDV. MDV is readily transmitted horizontally to adjacent chickens, either by contact or it can be carried in dander or dust particles. The disease exists in poultry producing countries throughout the world. The disease is usually seen in chickens younger than 16 weeks of age, but has also been diagnosed in laying and breeder chicken flocks. Although in most cases MD vaccines are effective, losses still occur. Most recently, MD has been diagnosed in turkey flocks in Israel and France. This paper provides a synopsis of the etiology, pathology and differential diagnosis of MD in chickens.