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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Resistance to malignant catarrhal fever in American bison (Bison bison) is associated with MHC class IIa polymorphisms

Authors
item Traul, Donald
item Li, Hong
item Dusgupta, N - WSU
item O'Toole, Donal - UNIV OF WYOMING
item Eldridge, Jennifer - WSU
item Besser, Thomas - WSU
item Davies, Christopher - WSU

Submitted to: Animal Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 26, 2006
Publication Date: April 15, 2007
Citation: Traul, D., Li, H., Dusgupta, N., O'Toole, D., Eldridge, J.A., Besser, T.E., Davies, C.J. 2007. Resistance to malignant catarrhal fever in American bison (Bison bison) is associated with MHC class IIa polymorphisms. Animal Genetics. 38(2):141-146

Interpretive Summary: American bison (Bison bison) are highly susceptible to malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) even after low dose exposure to the sheep-associated virus Ovine Herpesvirus-2 (OvHV-2. In bison herds about 20% of animals are seropositive for OvHV-2 without developing clinical disease. What genetic basis accounts for differences in susceptibility or resistance between bison are unknown. Polymorphism in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIa could potentially explain differences in susceptibility. In this study we analyzed the MHC class IIa complex in two groups of bison- bison that developed clinical MCF, and bison that were exposed to OvHV-2 without developing clinical disease- to look for an association between MCF and MHC class IIa haplotypes. Fourteen bison DRB3 alleles were identified in the 191 bison in this study. An association with disease resistance or susceptibility was identified for two bison alleles. The DRB3*0801 allele was significantly associated with resistance to MCF, whereas the DRB3*0602 allele was weakly associated with susceptibility. This is the first direct evidence that MHC class IIa polymorphism is associated with resistance or susceptibility to OvHV-2 associated MCF. This finding could potentially influence breeding strategies for the control of MCF in bison.

Technical Abstract: The gammaherpesvirus, ovine herpesvirus-2 (OvHV-2), is the most common causative agent of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in clinically susceptible ruminants including cattle and bison. American bison (Bison bison) are highly susceptible to clinical MCF even after low dose exposure to OvHV-2. Therefore, it is interesting that in wild and domesticated bison herds about 20% of animals seroconvert to OvHV-2 without developing clinical disease. The genetic basis, such as major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIa polymorphism, for differences in susceptibility between bison is of great interest. In this study we typed two groups of bison – bison that developed clinical MCF, and bison that were exposed to OvHV-2 and seroconverted without developing clinical disease – with a microarray based DRB3 typing system to look for an association between MCF and MHC class IIa haplotypes. Fourteen Bibi DRB3 alleles were identified in the 191 bison in this study. The Cochran-Mantel-Haentzel test identified the DRB3*0801 allele as significantly associated with resistance to MCF (P = 0.003) whereas the DRB3*0602 allele was weakly associated with susceptibility (P = 0.065). This is the first direct evidence that MHC class IIa polymorphism is associated with resistance or susceptibility to OvHV-2 associated MCF.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014