Immune mechanisms in marek's disease

J. M. Sharma, B. R. Burmester

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Resistance to progressive tumor development in MD is either naturally inherited or can be induced by vaccination with apathogenic or attenuated MDV or with HVT. Studies on the effects of immunosuppression on resistance have shown that natural and vaccine induced resistance may be mediated through immune responses. Cell-mediated immune responses rather than humoral responses appear to be of principal importance. The antigen(s) against which protective cell-mediated immunity is elicited are not yet clearly delineated. Both virus-related and tumor antigens may be involved. Progress in the understanding of cell-mediated immunity in MD has been slow because of lack of reproducible in vitro tests to measure this response in infected chickens. The development of lymphoblastoid cell lines from MD lymphomas, however, has enabled the development of an in vitro cytotoxicity test. In this test, which utilizes MSB-1 cells as the target cells, a specific cell-mediated immune response, presumably against the tumor antigen, MATSA, was detected in chickens infected with MDV. Further studies using similar in vitro tests will facilitate a better understanding of the role cell-mediated immune responses might play in development of MD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979


  • Marek's disease
  • immunity
  • mechanisms
  • resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • General Veterinary
  • Infectious Diseases


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