Viruses are a very diverse group of pathogens with a variety of strategies tor infection, replication and induction of disease. Therefore, it may be difficult to breed for generalized resistance to virus disease. Genes may act to resist infection with and the pathogenic effects of viruses at the cellular, animal, population or species level. The avian leukosis-sarcoma group of viruses illustrates several levels at which resistance may occur. While the conventional breeding methods of challenge and selection will still be used, new developments in biotechnology will add new techniques to enhance current practices of breeding for disease resistance. Studies of germ line insertion in the mouse have shown that subunits of gene complexes influencing immune response can be inserted in the genome and be normally expressed. To take advantage of these exciting prospects, the future animal breeder will have to have an understanding of molecular genetics in addition to his present capabilities.

L. B Crittenden, J. S Gavora

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 624–634, 1986
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