Genetic parameters for natural antibody isotype titers in milk of Dutch Holstein-Friesians

S. Wijga, H. Bovenhuis, J.W.M. Bastiaansen, J.A.M. van Arendonk, T.C.W. Ploegaert, E. Tijhaar, J.J. van der Poel

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of the present study was to estimate genetic parameters for natural antibody isotypes immunoglobulin (Ig) A, IgG1 and IgM titers binding the bacterial antigens lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan and the model antigen keyhole limpet hemocyanin in Dutch Holstein-Friesian cows (n = 1695). Further, this study included total natural antibody titers binding the antigens mentioned above, making no isotype distinction, as well as total natural antibody titers and natural antibody isotypes IgA, IgG1 and IgM binding lipoteichoic acid. The study showed that natural antibody isotype titers are heritable, ranging from 0.06 to 0.55, and that these heritabilities were generally higher than heritabilities for total natural antibody titers. Genetic correlations, the combinations of total natural antibody titers and natural antibody isotype titers, were nearly all positive and ranged from -0.23 to 0.99. Strong genetic correlations were found between IgA and IgM. Genetic correlations were substantially weaker when they involved an IgG1 titer, indicating that IgA and IgM have a common genetic basis, but that the genetic basis for IgG1 differs from that for IgA or IgM. Results from this study indicate that natural antibody isotype titers show the potential for effective genetic selection. Further, natural antibody isotypes may provide a better characterization of different elements of the immune response or immune competence. As such, natural antibody isotypes may enable more effective decisions when breeding programs start to include innate immune parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-492
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • immunoglobulin-a
  • innate immunity
  • laying hens
  • responses
  • mastitis
  • cattle
  • cows
  • lactation
  • survival


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