Monograph

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definition: 

Marek's disease is a highly contagious infectious disease of viral origin that affects domestic and wild birds. It appears on the OIE list.

Situation in America: 

Marek's disease is distributed worldwide. It is present in the Caribbean, like in Martinique, but probably in most of the other islands as well.

Susceptible species: 

Domestic and wild birds, hens being the most sensitive

Etiological agent: 

Marek's disease is caused by a herpesvirus, a DNA enveloped virus.

Methods of transmission
Transmission: 

Transmission occurs through the airways or orally via infectious particles found in large quantities in the feather follicles, as well as in faeces and sputum.

Symptoms: 

There are several forms of Marek's disease:

Classical form (animals aged 12 to 24 weeks): appearance of motor disorders, claudication, gradual paralysis of the limbs, drooping wings

Death inevitable

Cutaneous form: appearance of small tumorous nodules at the base of the feathers

Acute form (animals aged 6 to 12 weeks): exhaustion, weight loss, anemia, gradual paralysis.

Mortality rate of 30%

Diagnostics
Laboratory diagnosis: 

- Detection of the pathogenic agent through cell cultures (very time-consuming method)

- Detection of antibodies using an ELISA test

 

Prophylaxis: 

Sanitary prophylaxis:

Isolation and elimination of infected subjects, disinfection with formalin

Vaccines: 

Attenuated live virus vaccine


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