Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) is caused by a small, non-enveloped virus, highly resistant in the outside environment. Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV) targets the chicken's immune system in a very comprehensive and complex manner by destroying B lymphocytes, attracting T cells and activating macrophages. As an RNA virus, IBDV has a high mutation rate and may thus give rise to viruses with a modified antigenicity or increased virulence, as emphasized during the last decades. The molecular basis of pathogenicity and the exact cause of clinical disease and death are still poorly understood, as it is not clearly related to the severity of the lesions and the extent of the bursal damage. Recent works however, pointed out the role of an exacerbated innate immune response during the early stage of the infection with upregulated production of promediators that will induce a cytokine storm. In the case of IBDV, immunosuppression is both a direct consequence of the infection of specific target immune cells and an indirect consequence of the interactions occurring in the immune network of the host. Recovery from disease or subclinical infection will be followed by immunosuppression with more serious consequences if the strain is very virulent and infection occurs early in life. Although the immunosuppression caused by IBDV is principally directed towards B-lymphocytes, an effect on cell-mediated immunity (CMI) has also been demonstrated therefore increasing the impact of IBDV on the immunocompetence of the chicken. In addition to its zootechnical impact and its role in the development of secondary infections, it may affect the immune response of the chicken to subsequent vaccinations, essential in all types of intensive farming. Recent progress in the field of avian immunology has allowed a better knowledge of the immunological mechanisms involved in the disease but also should give improved tools for the measurement of immunosuppression in the field situation. Although satisfactory protection may be provided by the induction of high neutralizing antibody titres, interference from parental antibodies with vaccination has become the most important obstacle in the establishment of control programs. In this context, recombinant HVT and immune complex vaccines show promising results.