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Current Status of Marek's Disease in the United States and Worldwide Based on a Questionnaire Survey

John R. Dunn, Isabel M. Gimeno
Avian diseases 2013 v.57 no.2 pp. 483-490
Marek disease, avian leukosis, business enterprises, disease incidence, disease prevalence, flocks, international organizations, poultry, questionnaires, researchers, slaughter, surveys, vaccines, virulence, Africa, East Asia, Eastern European region, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South America
A questionnaire was widely distributed in 2011 to estimate the global prevalence of Marek's disease (MD) and gain a better understanding of current control strategies and future concerns. A total of 112 questionnaires were returned representing 116 countries from sources including national branch secretaries of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, vaccine, breeder, and production companies, as well as MD researchers from various backgrounds. Each country listed on a questionnaire was recorded as an individual entry, and on average there were 2.0 entries per country (median 1; range 1-13). All flock types were listed as having increased MD incidence during the last 10 yr in close to 50% of countries by at least one respondent, with the majority of these countries located within French-speaking Africa, Eastern Europe, East Asia, and South America. Only 18 countries (16%) indicated increasing MD incidence was likely due to higher virulent strains, while the presence of other immunosuppressive diseases was a more common explanation. Increased use of CVI988/Rispens was cited as the most likely reason for decreasing MD incidence in 49 countries (42%). In the United States, MD incidence has continued to decrease during the last 10 yr, reaching a record low in 2007 (0.0008%) as measured by leukosis condemnation rates in broilers at slaughter. However, a recent increase of leukosis condemnations in North Carolina and Pennsylvania needs to be closely monitored.