A Glasgow (UK) team has recently reviewed a large amount of research on acute phase proteins in chicken. It is well known that acute phase proteins are secreted from the liver as a result of inflammation, stress or infection and that they can be measured in plasma. In fact, acute phase proteins are considered by many as the most accurate index measuring the immune status (health) of a given population.

These stress proteins have been well-characterized in other farm animal species, but information on poultry remains widespread among a variety of research reports. Today, the acceleration in chicken acute phase protein research is in direct response to increased interest in ways the immune responses of the chicken can be measured and compared during infection, or environmental and nutritional challenge.

All acute phase proteins that have been identified and characterized so far in chicken are described in this review, and their responses during infection are discussed, with acute phase proteins tabulated with basal values and classification to provide a comparative and useful reference. The ways acute phase proteins can be measured in chicken and the assays available to do so are also described. This review brings an update on the latest thinking in poultry immunity as relates to all aspects of production.