Marek's disease virus (MDV) vaccines of serotypes 1 and 2 administered in 18-day-old embryonated eggs induced better protection against post-hatch challenge at 3 days with virulent MDV than vaccines given at hatch. Embryonal vaccination with a polyvalent vaccine containing equal quantities of serotypes 1 and 2 of MDV and serotype 3 virus (turkey herpesvirus, HVT) was also significantly more effective than post-hatch vaccination. These and earlier results indicate that protective efficacy of single or combined Marek's disease vaccine serotypes against post-hatch challenge at 3 days can be substantially improved if the vaccines are injected into 18-day embryos rather than at hatch. Injection of vaccines of serotypes 1 or 2 into embryonated eggs or hatched chicks did not cause detectable gross or microscopic lesions in chickens. Vaccine viruses of serotypes 1 and 2 could be isolated from spleen cells of chickens 1 week post-vaccination, and the titer of recoverable viruses was higher in chickens that received the vaccines at the 18th day of embryonation than in chickens vaccinated at hatch. Although embryo vaccination with HVT usually provided better protection than post-hatch vaccination against early post-hatch challenge with variant pathotypes of MDV, the protection was poor regardless of vaccination protocol. If challenge with variant pathotypes of MDV was delayed until embryonally or post-hatch HVT-vaccinated chickens were 21 days of age, protection of chickens by HVT was not enhanced. Thus, resistance induced by embryonal vaccination with HVT was qualitatively similar to that induced by post-hatch vaccination with this virus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)