For Anyone Who Thinks Their Bird Might Have Marek's

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ICallMyselfCherie', Dec 9, 2011.

  1. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Take a deep breath, I have good news for all of us.

    Although everyone says there isn't, there IS a test for Marek's that does NOT require a necropsy! There are, in fact, at least two DIFFERENT tests for Marek's that can test on a live bird.

    Here is one of them:

    http://aem.asm.org/content/23/5/942.full.pdf

    The other uses a method of testing called AGID and simply tests on a blood sample. Here in California, UC Davis's California Food and Safety division offers this test for, and I quote a woman I talked to on the phone there, "a whopping $2.00 a bird". Yes, that is TWO dollars. You can have a vet draw the blood and send it in for you, or draw the blood yourself and just drive it there or ship it yourself. They also take samples from out of state, I believe, perhaps at a slightly higher price. Surely this is not the only facility that does these tests in the US. They're out there -- I'm not sure why more people don't know about them, but I thought it was time that everyone found out!

    May Marek's strike just a little less fear in your heart from now on!!!
     
  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Thanks for the info. I will save this just in case. [​IMG]
     
  3. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your welcome, I hope it helps someone else down the line! I know I was sure relieved when I found out!
     
  4. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lol, Brattish Taz, what is the chick saying in your picture? It looks funny, I can't quite read what he's saying!
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    I don't know if this testing became reliable. This article is from 1972. That's 40 years ago. I would try to find some current information on how these experiments have fared in the past 40 years.

    You're quite a researcher! [​IMG]
     
  6. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, seminolewind. Yes, it is an old study. However, the test is still being performed, so it must be reliable to a certain extent.

    I CAN tell you that it works by detecting Marek's antibodies in the blood, and there in lies the known drawback to the test -- it is seemingly unable to differentiate between so-called "protective" antibodies and antibodies created in response to illness. Therefore, if your birds have been vaccinated for Marek's, or if you have been breeding for resistance, positive results are effectively rendered inconclusive. How do I know? Because I got my bird tested and it came back positive. Upon reflection, I called the lab and mentioned (yet again, as I had included the information on my submission form) that she had been vaccinated as a chick, whereupon they affirmed that the positive test results could be attributed to prior inoculation against the disease.

    But limited as the test may be, I still believe it is a valid alternative to knee-jerk culling. I have heard so many times that a living test for Marek's simply does not exist, when, in fact, such a test has been in existence for 40 years. I believe it remains, at the very least, a valuable intermediary step between suspicion of Marek's and automatic euthanization and diagnostic necropsy for a significant number of owners.

    It all boils down to this: the test can deliver a false positive under certain circumstances. It cannot deliver a false negative.

    If you do the test and it comes back positive, you have to consider that your bird may not actually be suffering from the disease, in which case, yes, you're back to square one. But if it comes back negative, won't you glad you didn't euthanize your bird just to get that information?
     
  7. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Plato was right -- necessity is truly the mother of invention . . . or at least the uncle of research. [​IMG]
     

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