Marek´s disease
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Marek´s disease

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MD is a lymphomatous and neuropathic disease of domestic birds caused by an alphaher-pesvirus. Fowls get infected by inhalation of infected dust from the poultry houses and the virus is shed from the feather follicle of infected birds. Chickens are the most important natural hosts for MD, which usually takes place at 12-30 weeks of age. Besides, MD is one of the most ubiquitous avian infections. It has been reported in chicken flocks worldwide. Every flock, except those maintained under strict pathogen-free conditions, is presumed to be infected. MD may cause important economic losses through a subclinical decrease in growth rate and egg production. Clinical signs observed include paralysis of the legs and wings and enlargement of peri-pheral nerves. Moreover, chickens may become persistently infected without developing clinical disease. According to the current situation, it is necessary to review and update this severe and widespread problem. To make it easier, the author, a prestigious specialist in this field, has developed a thorough assessment of this topic in a didactic and visual way. Many resour-ces (images, tables, graphs, etc.) have been included to facilitate the comprehension of this disease by the reader. This precise and straightforward information will help the vete-rinarians to know everything about this condition and tackle it properly.

Mohamed Faizal Abdul-Careem

BVSc, MVM, PhD, Diplomate ACPV, Diplomate ACVM (Virology).

Dr. Mohamed Faizal Abdul-Careem is Assistant Professor (virology) at the University of Calgary (Canada) since 2010. He has obtained his basic veterinary degree (BVSc) from the University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka) and a Master of Veterinary Medicine degree (MVM) from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School (UK) in 1995. He completed his PhD degree from the University of Guelph (Canada) in 2008. His doctoral thesis entitled ‘Characterization of Host Responses Following Marek’s Disease Virus Infection or Vaccination Against Marek’s Disease’. Following his PhD degree, he was awarded a prestigious Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship to conduct post-doctoral research on innate immune responses generated against mucosal viral infections at the Center for Gene Therapeutics of the McMaster University (Canada). He is diplomate of American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV) and American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM).

He has expertise and strong interests in the area of avian viral immunology. He has around 31 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals and 90 % of these manuscripts are on avian viral immunology. His research programme at the University of Calgary is supported by grants from Canadian federal, provincial and poultry industry sources such as Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), and Canadian Poultry Research Council. He has established stateof-the-art research facility for his experimental animal and laboratory work at the University of Calgary.

1. Introduction

General definition


Economic significance


2. Aetiology

The virus, MDV



MDV evolution

3. Epidemiology


Age distribution

Geographic distribution

Environmental persistence


Incubation period



4. Pathogenesis

MDV pathogenesis cycle

Events at respiratory mucosa

Events at bursa of Fabricius

Events at FFE

Latency, transformation and lymphoma



5. Clinical manifestations

Clinical manifestations

Nonspecific signs

Transient paralysis


Other neurological manifestations


6. Immunity


Innate host responses

Adaptive host responses

7. Diagnosis


History and clinical signs

Gross postmortem lesions

Histological changes

Immunological techniques

Antibody detection methods (serology)

Antigen detection methods

Virus isolation in cell cultures

Molecular techniques

8. Prevention and control

Control by vaccination

Available vaccines

Hatchery vaccination

Mechanism of protection

Vaccination failure

Management control


Cleaning and disinfection

Genetic control

9. References

  • Autor/es Mohamed Faizal Abdul-Careem
  • Fecha de edición diciembre 2013
  • Nº Páginas 80
  • Encuadernación Tapa blanda. Wire-o
  • Tamaño 17 X 11
  • Idioma Inglés

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