Cardiovascular disease is common in avian species and increasing commercial economic losses and demand for healthcare in the household/smallholding veterinary sector has resulted in increased research into these disorders. This in turn has highlighted the importance of breeding, genetic testing and possibilities for future prognostic and diagnostic testing. Research into avian cardiovascular genetics has rapidly accelerated. Previously much work was undertaken in mammals with information extrapolated and transferred to birds. Birds have also been used to model cardiovascular disease and therefore knowledge has become enriched due to this endeavour. Increasingly, the avian genome is being analysed in its own right. This work is assisted by the growing number of avian genomes being published. In 2015, Nature published news on the ‘Bird 10K’ project, which aims to sequence 10,500 extant bird species. By 2018, the Avian Genomes Consortium had published the sequences of 45 species/34 orders. This review investigates a range of avian cardiovascular disorders in order to highlight their pathologies, epidemiology and genetics in addition to avian models of heart disease. With the availability of more reference genomes, increases in the number and magnitude of avian studies and more advanced technologies, the genetics behind avian cardiovascular disorders is being unravelled.
Part of the book: Application of Genetics and Genomics in Poultry Science