Chicken Infectious Anemia – Disease overview

Chicken Infectious Anaemia is a disease caused by the Chicken Anaemia Virus (CAV). The disease is found worldwide. The virus can infect chickens of all ages but only young chicks may develop clinical signs. The virus can be isolated from different organs but targets mainly the thymus therefore impairing the maturation of T lymphocytes. More important than the disease caused by the virus in susceptible chickens is the damage (immunosuppression) it causes to the immune system.

The economic impact of Avian Infectious Anaemia is mainly due to:

  • Bad performance and increased mortality in broilers due to immunosuppression
  • Presence of secondary infections
  • Vertical transmission from breeders to their progeny which may result in clinical disease

The negative effects of a CAV infection can be successfully controlled by vaccination and implementing sound biosecurity principles.

Damage to the immune system is more significant than the disease caused in chickens.

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