Avian Immune System

Pete Kaiser, Adam Balic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chicken, perhaps surprisingly, has made many seminal contributions towards our understanding of immune responses in all species. Despite this, before the chicken genome sequence, our ability to study immune responses in detail in birds was limited both in terms of reagents and also in our understanding of the immune gene repertoire. After the chicken genome sequence, things have radically changed; however, there are still gaps, both in the genome sequence and in the repertoire. In broad terms, the immune systems of mammals and birds are similar. Both mount innate and adaptive immune responses, with the latter including both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses, leading to immunological memory. However, looking at the organs, cells, and molecules of the immune response in birds, it appears that mammals and birds achieve the same overall responses—often in quite different ways. In many respects (but not all), the avian immune response is different. It would be very difficult to summarize all aspects of the avian immune system in this chapter. Instead, we concentrate on the basic anatomy of the organs of the avian immune response, as well as a description of the major cell types and major areas where the cells and molecules of the immune response differ from those of mammals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSturkie's Avian Physiology
PublisherAcademic Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780124072435
ISBN (Print)9780124071605
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Avian Immune System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this