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Marek's disease outbreak among vaccinated commercial layer flocks in the mining area of Karnataka, India
  1. H. K. Muniyellappa, MVSc, PhD1,
  2. M. L. Satyanarayana, MVSc, PhD2,
  3. S. Isloor, MVSc, PhD3 and
  4. N. K. Shivakumar Gowda, MVSc, PhD4
  1. 1Poultry Disease Investigation Section, Institute of Animal Health & Veterinary Biologicals, KVAFSU, International Airport Road, Hebbal, Bangalore, Karnataka 560 024, India
  2. 2Department of Veterinary Pathology,
  3. 3Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Veterinary College, KVAFSU, Hebbal, Bangalore, Karnataka 560 024, India
  4. 4Division of Animal Nutrition, National Institute of Animal Nutrition & Physiology, ICAR, Bangalore, Karnataka 560034, India
  1. E-mail for correspondence: hkmuni{at}

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Marek's disease (MD) of chicken is caused by Gallid herpesvirus 2 belonging to the genus Mardivirus and family Herpesviridae. Annual losses due to MD the world over have been estimated to be more than 1 billion US dollars (Nair 2005). Previously, MD was reported to be a disease of younger chicken of 4–20 weeks old, but in recent times, it has been often observed in adult flocks (Lobago and Woldemeskel 2004, Ikezawa and others 2010). Mining activities generate a lot of dust that contaminates the environment and soil (Nagajyoti and others 2010), and prolonged exposure to mine dust could cause immunosuppression in chickens (Muniyellappa and others 2012). This communication reports occurrence of various forms of MD in vaccinated commercial layer flocks in the mining areas.

Six commercial layer poultry farms were randomly chosen in the mining area of north Karnataka. Flock details, clinical history and signs, morbidity, mortality, egg production and details of vaccinations were recorded during visits to the farms. Gross lesions during postmortem examination and microscopic lesions were systematically recorded following processing. Feed, water, liver, kidney and gizzard tissue samples from each …

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