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Open Access Research article

Genome-wide association study of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis in Angus cattle

Kadir Kizilkaya12, Richard G Tait1, Dorian J Garrick13, Rohan L Fernando1 and James M Reecy1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 USA

2 Department of Animal Science, Adnan Menderes University, Aydin, 09100 Turkey

3 Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Citation and License

BMC Genetics 2013, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-23

Published: 26 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) in beef cattle, commonly known as pinkeye, is a bacterial disease caused by Moraxellabovis. IBK is characterized by excessive tearing and ulceration of the cornea. Perforation of the cornea may also occur in severe cases. IBK is considered the most important ocular disease in cattle production, due to the decreased growth performance of infected individuals and its subsequent economic effects. IBK is an economically important, lowly heritable categorical disease trait. Mass selection of unaffected animals has not been successful at reducing disease incidence. Genome-wide studies can determine chromosomal regions associated with IBK susceptibility. The objective of the study was to detect single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with genetic variants associated with IBK in American Angus cattle.

Results

The proportion of phenotypic variance explained by markers was 0.06 in the whole genome analysis of IBK incidence classified as two, three or nine categories. Whole-genome analysis using any categorisation of (two, three or nine) IBK scores showed that locations on chromosomes 2, 12, 13 and 21 were associated with IBK disease. The genomic locations on chromosomes 13 and 21 overlap with QTLs associated with Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, clinical mastitis or somatic cell count.

Conclusions

Results of these genome-wide analyses indicated that if the underlying genetic factors confer not only IBK susceptibility but also IBK severity, treating IBK phenotypes as a two-categorical trait can cause information loss in the genome-wide analysis. These results help our overall understanding of the genetics of IBK and have the potential to provide information for future use in breeding schemes.

Keywords:
Keratoconjunctivitis; Pinkeye; BayesB; Threshold model; Genome-wide analysis