A landmark contribution to poultry science-Immunological function of the bursa of Fabricius


The article "The bursa of Fabricius and antibody production" by Bruce Glick, Timothy S. Chang, and R. George Jaap first demonstrated the role of the bursa in immune development. Birds, including chickens, possess a peculiar organ, the bursa of Fabricius. The organ was recognized for more than 300 yr before its function was described in 1956. Discovery of the bursa as an essential component of the immune response began by accident. Removal of the bursa, bursectomy, during the rapid growth period diminished the antibody response to Salmonella. A paper describing this exceptional finding was initially rejected by Science and ultimately published in Poultry Science. This revelation triggered sequential events leading to the understanding of the dichotomy of the immune response. Additional work in multiple laboratories over many years revealed fundamental immune mechanisms attributable to the bursa. Understanding those mechanisms advanced agricultural and biomedical science.

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Poultry science


Poultry Science Association

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© 2009 Poultry Science Association Inc.