More than 150 veterinarians and poultry production specialists from 21 countries gathered in Atlanta recently to learn about effective control of infectious bursal disease, also known as IBD or Gumboro disease, at a summit sponsored by animal health company Merial.

IBD is one of the most widely recognized diseases affecting chickens globally and is a major cause of immunosuppression and mortality, according to Merial.

John R. Glisson, a doctor of veterinary medicine at the University of Georgia, kicked off the symposium, speaking about the history and control of avian diseases, from the days of Louis Pasteur to today’s use of vector vaccine technology.

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Academic veterinarians from the United States and Venezuela discussed diagnostic methods for IBD and the use of vector vaccine technology to control it. Industry veterinarians from Venezuela and the United States reported positive economic and production results from using the Merial Vaxxitek HVT+IBD vector vaccine against Marek’s disease and IBD in commercial production. The vaccine has been used in 5 billion chicken worldwide since its launch in 2006, according to the company.

Vertically integrated producers from Asia also attended the conference.