Genome-wide association study of insect bite hypersensitivity in swedish-born icelandic horses

M. Shrestha, S. Eriksson, A. Schurink, L.S. Andersson, M. Sundquist, R. Frey, H. Brostrom, T. Bergstrom, B.J. Ducro, G. lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) is the most common allergic skin disease in horses and is caused by biting midges, mainly of the genus Culicoides. The disease predominantly comprises a type I hypersensitivity reaction, causing severe itching and discomfort that reduce the welfare and commercial value of the horse. It is a multifactorial disorder influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, with heritability ranging from 0.16 to 0.27 in various horse breeds. The worldwide prevalence in different horse breeds ranges from 3% to 60%; it is more than 50% in Icelandic horses exported to the European continent and approximately 8% in Swedish-born Icelandic horses. To minimize the influence of environmental effects, we analyzed Swedish-born Icelandic horses to identify genomic regions that regulate susceptibility to IBH. We performed a genomewide association (GWA) study on 104 affected and 105 unaffected Icelandic horses genotyped using Illumina® EquineSNP50 Genotyping BeadChip. Quality control and population stratification analyses were performed with the GenABEL package in R (¿ = 0.81). The association analysis was performed using the Bayesian variable selection method, Bayes C, implemented in GenSel software. The highest percentage of genetic variance was explained by the windows on X chromosomes (0.51% and 0.36% by 73 and 74 mb), 17 (0.34% by 77 mb), and 18 (0.34% by 26 mb). Overlapping regions with previous GWA studies were observed on chromosomes 7, 9, and 17. The windows identified in our study on chromosomes 7, 10, and 17 harbored immune system genes and are priorities for further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-374
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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