The importance of poultry, particularly chicken, as a food source continues to increase globally. Moreover, zoonotic infectious diseases such as avian influenza virus not only continue to impact poultry production, but also pose an increasing threat to public health. This review discusses the importance of poultry in both agricultural and public health arenas. Recent developments in avian immunology are described, with an emphasis on host-pathogen interactions and noting differences from mammalian systems. Next generation technologies including functional genomics and targeted gene disruption (e.g. zinc finger nucleases and meganucleases) are discussed as new approaches for not only understanding immune responses in poultry, but also as novel disease intervention strategies.
- Gene silencing