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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2002 Sep 10;87(3-4):199-205.

Immune modulation: the genetic approach.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Factorielle, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France.


As part of a comprehensive strategy to combat diseases, improving genetically resistance to diseases and therefore immune capacities of animals is more and more desirable. However, research is still needed to develop genetic tools that may be used. In this search, lines selected for various immune responses are used to study relevant immune markers. Chickens have been selected for six generations for three different in vivo immune responses: high antibody response, high cell-mediated immune response and high phagocytic activity. Each line, selected for one trait, showed significant increase in immune capacity for this trait. In addition, results showed clearly independence between the three immune responses analyzed, meaning that a global approach is needed to improve immune capacity. Selected lines allow to follow genetic markers linked to immune response genes. In the different lines, different patterns in MHC gene frequency were observed and MHC alleles differed in their effects according to the immune trait. Some correlations were found between immune responses and production traits. The selected lines will be used to find other "known" immune response genes or "anonymous" genetic markers, which may become the future tools to modulate immune responsiveness of animals.

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