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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Animal Genomics for Animal Health (AGAH 2010)

Open Access Proceedings

Deciphering the genetic control of innate and adaptive immune responses in pig: a combined genetic and genomic study

Laurence Flori123, Yu Gao123, Isabelle P Oswald4, François Lefevre5, Marcel Bouffaud6, Marie-José Mercat7, Jean-Pierre Bidanel123 and Claire Rogel-Gaillard123*

Author Affiliations

1 INRA, UMR de Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, Jouy-en-Josas, France

2 CEA, DSV, iRCM, Laboratoire de Radiobiologie et Etude du Génome, Jouy-en-Josas, France

3 AgroParisTech, UMR de Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, Jouy-en-Josas, France

4 INRA, Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Toxicologie, Toulouse, France

5 INRA, Laboratoire de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, Jouy-en-Josas, France

6 INRA, Station de contrôle de performances, UE450, Le Rheu, France

7 IFIP, Pôle amélioration de l’animal, La Motte au Vicomte, France

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BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 4):S32  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S4-S32

Published: 3 June 2011


Improving animal robustness and resistance to pathogens by adding health criteria in selection schemes is one of the challenging objectives of the next decade. In order to better understand the genetic control of immunity in French Large White pigs, we have launched a program combining genetic and genomic studies not focussing on any particular pathogen. Animals recorded for production traits were scored for a wide range of immunity parameters three weeks after vaccination against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae: i) total white blood cells and lymphocyte counts and proportions of various leucocyte subsets including cells harbouring IgM, γδTCR, CD4/CD8, CD16/CD2 and CD16/CD172a/MHCII, ii) innate immune response parameters (phagocytosis and in vitro production of IL1B, IL6, IL8, TNF, IL12 and IFNαafter blood stimulation), iii) adaptive immune response parameters (lymphocyte proliferation, in vitro production of IL2, IL4, IL10 and IFNγ after blood stimulation, total IgG, IgA, IgM and specific IgG levels) and iv) two acute phase proteins (C-reactive protein and haploglobin). Across traits, heritability estimates reached 0.4 on average (se=0.1) and 42 of the 54 measured parameters showed moderate to high heritabilities (≥0.2), confirming that many parameters are under genetic control and could be included in selection protocols. Functional analyses revealed that the blood transcriptome is informative for part of the immunity traits and should provide relevant phenotypic information to better characterize some immunity traits.