A. What is Mareks disease? Marek’s disease is a highly contagious viral neoplastic disease in chickens. The disease is characterized by the presence of T cell lymphoma as well as the infiltration of nerves and organs by lymphocytes. The related herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) causes no apparent disease in turkeys and continues to be used as a vaccine strain for the prevention of Marek’s disease in chickens. One or more syndromes occur after infection: paralysis of one or more limbs, tumors, depression, grey eye, unequal size of the pupils and/or immunosuppression. There are a number of other diseases or conditions that could cause these syndromes and it is very hard to determine if Marek’s is the issue at hand. Vaccination for Marek’s is also not a guarantee that the chicken will not get Marek’s disease but symptoms may not show like an unvaccinated bird. We go into more details in our blog article by The Chicken Doc, also in our educational area we have related articles and information as to the WHY and general questions on the subject.
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