Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Sanglard LP, PigGen Canada, Mote BE, Willson P, Harding JCS, Plastow GS, Dekkers JCM and Serão NVL (2020) Genomic Analysis of IgG Antibody Response to Common Pathogens in Commercial Sows in Health-Challenged Herds. Front. Genet. 11:593804. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2020.593804


Copyright © 2020 Sanglard, PigGen Canada, Mote, Willson, Harding, Plastow, Dekkers and Serão. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).


Losses due to infectious diseases are one of the main factors affecting productivity in the swine industry, motivating the investigation of disease resilience-related traits for genetic selection. However, these traits are not expected to be expressed in the nucleus herds, where selection is performed. One alternative is to use information from the commercial level to identify and select nucleus animals genetically superior for coping with pathogen challenges. In this study, we analyzed the genetic basis of antibody (Ab) response to common infectious pathogens in health-challenged commercial swine herds as potential indicator traits for disease resilience, including Ab response to influenza A virus of swine (IAV), Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MH), porcine circovirus (PCV2), and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP; different serotypes). Ab response was measured in blood at entry into gilt rearing, post-acclimation (~40 days after entering the commercial herd), and parities 1 and 2. Heritability estimates for Ab response to IAV, MH, and PCV2 ranged from 0 to 0.76. Ab response to APP ranged from 0 to 0.40. The genetic correlation (rG) of Ab response to IAV with MH, PCV2, PRRSV, and APPmean (average Ab responses for all serotypes of APP) were positive (>0.29) at entry. APPmean was negatively correlated with PCV2 and MH at entry and parity 2 but positively correlated with MH at postacclimation and parity 1. Genomic regions associated with Ab response to different APP serotypes were identified on 13 chromosomes. The region on chromosome 14 (2 Mb) was associated with several serotypes of APP, explaining up to 4.3% of the genetic variance of Ab to APP7 at entry. In general, genomic prediction accuracies for Ab response were low to moderate, except average Ab response to all infectious pathogens evaluated. These results suggest that genetic selection of Ab response in commercial sows is possible, but with variable success depending on the trait and the time-point of collection. Future work is needed to determine genetic correlations of Ab response with disease resilience, reproductive performance, and other production traits.