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Reticuloendotheliosis is a neoplastic (tumor causing) disease of chickens, caused by a group of reticuloendotheliosis viruses (REVs) belonging to the Retroviridae family. REVs affect a wide range of avian species, including turkeys, ducks, geese, peafowl and pheasants. Reticuloendotheliosis is characterized by immunosuppression, runting-stunting syndrome, chronic lymphomas, and chronic neoplasm, which resemble a combination of Marek's disease and Avian leukosis.


REVs are transmitted horizontally through fecal-oral route, vertically, and accidentally through contaminated vaccines.

Clinical Signs

Weight loss
Pale comb and wattle
Occasional paralysis
Abnormal feathering


  • History of recent vaccination
  • Clinical signs
  • Agar gel precipitin test
  • Indirect fluorescent antibody test
  • Serum neutralization test
  • PCR - Is the method of choice for diagnosis of REV
  • Virus isolation


Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
St Johns wort (Hypericum Perforatum)3 doses of 30xBackyard Chickens member
Thymulin 5cHDiluted into drinking waterSato C et al., 2012



Scientific References