Several processes are involved in resistance to bacterial disease, most of them exhibit a genetic variation. In breeding animals informative data on disease resistance is elicited by challenging with appropriate pathogens, though this is often not a realistic approach for selection under everyday practical conditions. Disease data from an appropriate recording scheme may be used, but indirect selection for improved resistance to bacterial diseases based on marker traits can sometimes be more practicable. Various mechanisms that can be used as marker traits are discussed here, and examples are given both from laboratory and domestic animals. To effectively improve disease resistance it is probably necessary to concentrate breeding work on improving the resistance to some of the more serious diseases in the species concerned. It might be desirable to combine several marker traits with disease data in an index, but the best procedure to apply will depend on the disease, the species in question and the recording scheme in use.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 614–623, 1986
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