Field trials to test the efficacy of polyvalent Marek's disease vaccines in broilers.

R. L. Witter, J. M. Sharma, L. F. Lee, H. M. Opitz, C. W. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The efficacies of trivalent (Md11/75C + SB-1 + HVT), bivalent (SB-1 + HVT), and turkey herpesvirus (HVT) vaccines against Marek's disease (MD) were compared in commercial broiler flocks in four trials involving 11 farm locations and 486,300 chickens. In all four trials, chickens receiving polyvalent vaccines had lower leukosis (MD) condemnation rates than chickens vaccinated with HVT alone; when data were summarized for each vaccine type in each trial, condemnation rates for the bivalent- or trivalent-vaccinated groups were 56-96% (mean 78%) lower than those for HVT-vaccinated chickens. Polyvalent vaccination was clearly mor efficacious than HVT in 8 of 11 individual farms, although it did not always reduce leukosis condemnations to acceptable levels. Body weights of chickens vaccinated with polyvalent vaccines did not differ consistently from those vaccinated with HVT. Chickens inoculated with the trivalent vaccine had slightly lower overall leukosis condemnation rates (0.24%) than those inoculated with the bivalent vaccine (0.45%) in trials 1-3, where direct comparisons were made. Bivalent vaccines containing either 1,500 or 200 plaque-forming units of SB-1 virus were equally effective; thus, HVT may need to be supplemented with only small amounts of SB-1 to obtain the benefits of protective synergism. SB-1 virus did not appear to carry over from polyvalent-vaccinated flocks to subsequent HVT-vaccinated flocks in the same houses, even when old litter was used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-60
Number of pages17
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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