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Virus-induced immunosuppression in turkeys (<i>Meleagris gallopavo</i>): A review

Khaled Kaboudi


Immunosuppression is characterized by a dysfunction of humoral and/or cellular immune response leading to increase of susceptibility to secondary infections, increase of mortality and morbidity, poor productivity, and  welfare and vaccination failures. Humoral immune response depression is due to perturbation of soluble factors, as complement and chemokines in innate immunity and antibodies or cytokines in adaptive immunity. At the cellular immune response, immunosuppression is the consequence of the dysfunction of T-cells, B-cells, heterophils, monocytes, macrophages, and natural Killer cells. Immunosuppression in turkeys can be caused by  numerous, non-infectious, and infectious agents, having variable  pathological and molecular mechanisms. Interactions between them are very complex. This paper reviews the common viruses inducing clinical and sub-clinical immunosuppression in turkeys, and enteric and neoplastic viruses in particular, as well as the interactions among them. The  evaluation of immunosuppression is currently based on classical approach; however, new technique such as the microarray technology is being  developed to investigate immunological mediator’s genes detection. Controlling of immunosuppression include, in general, biosecurity practices, maintaining appropriate breeding conditions and vaccination of breeders and their progeny. Nevertheless, few vaccines are available against immunosuppressive viruses in turkey’s industry. The development of new control strategies is reviewed.

Keywords: Cellular immunity, Humoral immunity, Immunosuppression, Lymphocyte, Turkey.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2218-6050
print ISSN: 2226-4485