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Genetics Selection Evolution

Open Access

Association between the MHC gene region and variation of serum IgE levels against specific mould allergens in the horse

  • Ino Curik1,
  • Darrilyn Fraser2,
  • Claudia Eder3,
  • Roland Achmann4,
  • June Swinburne5,
  • Reto Crameri6,
  • Gottfried Brem4,
  • Johann Sölkner7 and
  • Eliane Marti8Email author
Genetics Selection Evolution200335(Suppl 1):S177

Accepted: 26 February 2003

Published: 15 June 2003


To investigate whether the equine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene region influences the production of mould-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE), alleles of the equine leukocyte antigen (ELA-A) locus and three microsatellite markers (UM-011, HTG-05 and HMS-42) located on the same chromosome as the equine MHC were determined in 448 Lipizzan horses. Statistical analyses based on composite models, showed significant associations of the ELA-A and UM-011 loci with IgE titres against the recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus 7 antigen (rAsp f 7). UM-011 was also significantly associated with IgE titres against the recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus 8 antigen (rAsp f 8). In addition to the loci mentioned above, the MHC class II DQA and DRA loci were determined in 76 Lipizzans from one stud. For IgE levels against rAsp f 7, the composite model showed the strongest association for DQA (P < 0.01) while for rAsp f 8 specific IgE levels, similarly to the results found with all 448 horses, the strongest association was found with UM-011 (P = 0.01), which is closely linked with the MHC class II DRB locus. These results suggest that the equine MHC gene region and possibly MHC class II loci, influence the specific IgE response in the horse. However, although the strongest associations were found with DQA and UM-011, this study did not distinguish if the observed effects were due to the MHC itself or to other tightly linked genes.


horsemajor histocompatibility compleximmunoglobulin Especific mould allergen

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Authors’ Affiliations

Animal Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA
Division of Immunogenetics, Institute of Animal Breeding, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Cyto-, Immuno- and Molecular Genetic Research, Vienna, Austria
Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UKAnimal Health Trust, Suffolk, UK
Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), Davos, Switzerland
Department of Livestock Science, University of Agricultural Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Division of Clinical Immunology, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003