The long view: 40 years of Marek's disease research and Avian Pathology

Marek's disease (MD), named after the Hungarian veterinary pathologist over 100 years ago, is a major disease affecting poultry health worldwide. Research in the late 1960s that led to the identification of the causative herpesvirus and the development of a highly successful vaccine is undoubtedly one of the best success stories in veterinary medicine. As Avian Pathology is celebrating its 40th anniversary, we review the last four decades of MD research that has provided major advances in our understanding of the virus, the pathogenic mechanisms of the disease, methods of diagnosis and the control through different generations of vaccines. Particular attention has been paid to the contributions made by publications in Avian Pathology. Despite this tremendous progress, MD continues to pose major challenges particularly from increasing virulence and emergence of new pathotypes. Further research on the molecular mechanisms of the disease, genetic resistance, vaccine-induced protection and evolution of virulence will be needed to develop more sustainable control strategies in the coming years.

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