Submitted to: National Breeders Roundtable Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 2, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The genetic organization, structure and function of antigen presenting glycoproteins is discussed in the context of viral disease resistance or susceptibility in chickens. The function of multiple loci encoding B-F (class I) and B-L (class II) like genes distributed between the B complex (Mhc) and Rfp-Y is reviewed. Recent evidence suggests there is one functional B-F and one functional B-L antigen presenting locus in the chicken. This is in contrast to mammalian species which express up to three functional class I and three functional class II loci. This limited number of antigen presenting loci compared to mammals may amplify viral disease resistance or susceptibility linked to different Mhc haplotypes. This "minimal" Mhc may also enhance viral escape variants and increase vaccine breaks. Future research investigating designer vaccines matching viral epitopes with the Mhc haplotype or transgenic chickens to increase Mhc diversity is discussed.