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Avian Leukosis is a complex of diseases affecting poultry. Most
forms are caused by a virus or group of viruses.
Some of the more common are:
* fowl paralysis, which attacks the nervous system
* Marek's disease, which causes paralysis of legs and wings
* pearly eye, which causes bulging eyeballs and loss of color in the
* marble bone, in which the long bones are thickened and bone
tissue replaces marrow
* big liver, in which nodules form on internal organs and the liver
swells to many times its normal size.
Another type causes severe anemia.
Most forms of leukosis are contagious and are widespread
throughout the world. For most of these, the only successful
means of control are selection of resistant stock; rearing chicks
in isolation until they are of laying age; attention to sanitary
conditions; control of parasites; and vaccination.
The avian leukosis complex continues, however, to cause more damage
to poultry in the U.S. than all other diseases combined.