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Analysis of rabbit doe longevity using a semiparametric log-Normal animal frailty model with time-dependent covariates

  • 1, 3Email author,
  • 2, 3,
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  • 2, 3
Genetics Selection Evolution200638:281

  • Received: 27 May 2005
  • Accepted: 4 January 2006
  • Published:


Data on doe longevity in a rabbit population were analysed using a semiparametric log-Normal animal frailty model. Longevity was defined as the time from the first positive pregnancy test to death or culling due to pathological problems. Does culled for other reasons had right censored records of longevity. The model included time dependent covariates associated with year by season, the interaction between physiological state and the number of young born alive, and between order of positive pregnancy test and physiological state. The model also included an additive genetic effect and a residual in log frailty. Properties of marginal posterior distributions of specific parameters were inferred from a full Bayesian analysis using Gibbs sampling. All of the fully conditional posterior distributions defining a Gibbs sampler were easy to sample from, either directly or using adaptive rejection sampling. The marginal posterior mean estimates of the additive genetic variance and of the residual variance in log frailty were 0.247 and 0.690.


  • longevity in rabbit does
  • semiparametric log-Normal frailty model
  • survival analysis
  • time dependent covariates

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Authors’ Affiliations

Departamento de Ciencia Animal, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera 14, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Research Centre Foulum, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
Departamento de Producción Animal I, Universidad de León, 24071 León, Spain


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006