Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: It is likely that pigs can be selected which are less susceptible to pathogens. So also, is the likelihood that there will always be diseases which affect pigs. Should we endeavor to improve pigs through selection, we must consider that other pathogens or modified pathogens will develop and will need to be addressed. With a multifaceted defense relying on management practices, antibiotics and swine genetics, we should be able to overcome these new challenges.
Technical Abstract: Although natural selection has been genetically improving disease resistance in pigs for millennia, pathological organisms are also evolving to survive in an ever changing environment and host organism. Man confounds the situation by constantly changing the environment and managerial practices used to raise pigs. Alterations in animal density vaccinations and antibiotics have significantly modified this ecosystem making the relationship between hosts' genetics and susceptibility to acquired diseases extremely complex. Selection of animals less susceptible to many pathogens will require that measurements of marker traits for anti-body- mediated immunity (AMI) and marker traits for cell-mediated immunity (CMI) be identified and the phenotypes incorporated into a selection index (general disease resistance).