Marek's disease in chickens, chickens are the most frequent inhabitant of both homes and farms, but very often birds are exposed to various diseases, which are the main cause of heavy losses, especially for large farms.
One of these diseases is the infection of Marek, which is quite rare, but can destroy a large number of chickens. In this article, we will discuss detailed information about this disease, its forms and methods of controlling infection
Forms of disease
Marek's disease is a viral infection of chickens, and it was first described by the Hungarian researcher Joseph Marek in 1907. Scientists called it chicken neuritis, but with the passage of time the disease became known in the world as Marek's disease.
What is marek's disease in poultry
The condition of chickens is associated with the development of partial or complete paralysis, decreased activity, damage to the motor and nervous system. In this case, chickens spread their legs in different directions, and the condition is associated with the inability to move due to failure of the legs.
This form of the disease is associated with damage to the bird's eyes, which can lead to complete blindness. In this case, the color of the iris becomes blurred, and the natural shape of the pupil is disturbed, gradually narrowing it to complete the destruction.
This form of the disease is accompanied by an increase in the feather follicles and the occurrence of lymphomas mainly in the liver and spleen. This disease is accompanied by a deterioration in the general condition of the bird, it becomes sluggish, drowsy and inactive.
Causes of Marek's disease in poultry
Marek's disease occurs under the influence of the herpes virus of group B. The herpes virus can maintain its activity in bird droppings, bedding, eggs and things in the house for a long time, but provided that the air temperature is stable and +25 degrees.
The virus that infects the bird can be transmitted to other individuals via airborne droplets, through the digestive system or the feather follicles. Very quickly, the entire population is affected by the virus.
Symptoms of Marek's disease in poultry
- Shortness of breath.
- Uncoordinated movements.
- Lying on your side.
- Reduced hemoglobin and red blood cells.
- A slight increase in some parameters of the blood (pseudo-eosinophils, lymphocytes).
- Multiple problems with the engine system.
- Coordination and movement problems.
- Strange movements of the limbs (rising sharply, slowly descending slowly).
- The defeat of the sciatic nerve and the nerve of the lumbosacral plexus.
- Optic nerve lesion, blindness afterward.
- Change in the color of the iris and the shape of the pupil (the iris becomes gray or gray-white, the pupil takes the form of a star polygon, pear-shaped or slit-shaped).
- Neurological and digestive disorders.
Treatment of Marek's disease in poultry
At the moment there are no drugs that will completely cure the bird of Marek's disease. If an infectious focus is found, antiviral therapy is used, quarantine is established, and the bird is often slaughtered for meat to prevent the disease from spreading to other healthy individuals.