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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2005 Jan;37(1):1-9.

Serum haemolytic complement levels in German Dahlem Red chickens are affected by three major genes (naked neck, dwarf, frizzled) of tropical interest.

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1
Department of Animal Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Abstract

German Dahlem Red chickens with three different major genes of tropical interest: Nana- (naked neck), Ff- (frizzled) and dw- (dwarf), respectively, were tested for serum haemolytic complement, which is essential in innate host defence against infectious agents. Eight different combinations of genes for body size and feather coverage were evaluated. Significant differences both for both the calcium-dependent (classical, CPW) and the calcium-independent (alternative, APW) complement titres were found between the phenotypes. Phenotype nanaffDw- showed the highest complement status. The frizzled (Ff-) gene had a negative influence on APW titres, whereas the dwarf (dw-) gene had a negative influence on CPW titres. The naked neck (Nana-) gene had various influences on the haemolytic complement status. All tested hens had MHC (B) 21 haplotypes, whereas the gene for dwarfism appeared to be linked with the B19 haplotype. It was concluded that introducing major genes (Nana-, dw-, Ff-) to conquer environmental stress in hot climates can have a negative impact on certain aspects of the innate immunity of poultry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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