Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are a class of immune sensors that play a critical role in detecting and responding to several conserved patterns of microorganisms. As such, they play a major role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis and anti-microbial defense. Fundamental knowledge pertaining to the discovery of PRR functions and their ligands continue to advance the understanding of immune system and disease resistance, which led to the rational design and/or application of various PRR ligands as vaccine adjuvants. In addition, the conserved nature of many PRRs throughout the animal kingdom has enabled the utilization of the comparative genomics approach in PRR identification and the study of evolution, structural features, and functions in many animal species including avian. In the present review, we focused on PRR sensing and signaling functions in the avian species, domestic chicken, mallard, and domestic goose. In addition to summarizing recent advances in the understanding of avian PRR functions, the present review utilized a comparative biology approach to identify additional PRRs, whose functions have been well studied in mammalians but await functional characterization in avian.
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