Genetic parameters for natural antibodies in a chicken layer line

T.V.L. Berghof, J.J. van der Poel, J.A.J. Arts, S. van Engelen, H.K. Parmentier, H. Bovenhuis

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Natural antibodies (NAb) are defined as antibodies present in the absence of an antigenic challenge. NAb act as a defense barrier contributing to general disease resistance. Current poultry production undergoes high impact changes and new ways need to be explored for poultry health. NAb may be used to improve (natural) disease resistance by means of selective breeding. However, little is known about NAb and its genetic background. In this study, a large chicken population (3,689 chickens) was phenotyped for keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH)-binding NAb of different isotypes at 16 weeks of age. Heritabilities of 0.08 for total antibodies, 0.14 for IgM, and 0.05 for IgG were found. Also a maternal environmental effect was detected for IgM. Positive genetic and phenotypic correlations of these isotypes were found (0.26-0.97). These results give insight in the (genetic) background of NAb and general disease resistance of poultry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event10th WCGALP, Vancouver, Canada -
Duration: 17 Aug 201422 Aug 2014


Conference10th WCGALP, Vancouver, Canada


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