Infectious diseases are responsible for major economic losses in livestock production. Although control of the environment by sanitation and isolation, and massive use of vaccination and drugs, reduces the incidence of many diseases, the problem has not been eliminated (Heller et al., 1992). Genetic resistance may be improved indirectly by selecting for a broad immune response. Chickens selected for high antibody responses to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) showed higher resistance to some infectious diseases e.g. Marek’s and Newcastle diseases (Gross et al., 1980 ; Dunnington et al., 1986). However, so far no selection experiment has resulted, in enhanced general resistance or enhanced immunity (Heller et al., 1992). Little is known of the genetic basis that underlay the innate and acquired disease resistance. Selection and crossing are procedures that may be used in genetic analysis of quantitatively inherited traits in poultry. The use of the first (F1) generation and second (F2) generation crosses allow for a check on the presence of heterosis (Miller et al., 1992). The use of molecular genetic markers can be of great help to identify genomic regions encoding immune response genes. The aim of this paper is to present a first data of QTL mapping experiment and estimated heritabilities of different immune parameters. 

M. Siwek, S. JB Cornelissen, M. GB Nieuwland, Albert Johannes Buitenhuis, Henk Bovenhuis, Jan J van der Poel, H. K Parmentier

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 13, , 13.24, 2002
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