Molecular characterization of swine leucocyte antigen class I genes in outbred pig populations

C. S. Ho, J. K. Lunney, M. H. Franzo-Romain, G. W. Martens, Y. J. Lee, J. H. Lee, M. Wysocki, R. R.R. Rowland, D. M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The highly polymorphic swine leucocyte antigen (SLA) genes are one of the most important determinants in swine immune responses to infectious diseases, vaccines, and in transplantation success. Study of SLA influence requires accurate and effective typing methods. We developed a simple and rapid method to type alleles at the three classical SLA class I loci (SLA-1, SLA-3 and SLA-2) using the PCR-sequence-specific primer (PCR-SSP) strategy. This typing system relies on 47 discriminatory PCR primer pairs designed to amplify the SLA class I alleles by groups that have similar sequence motifs. We applied this low-resolution group-specific typing method to characterize the SLA class I alleles present in three outbred pig populations (n = 202). Alleles from 24 class I allele groups corresponding to 56 class I genotypes were detected. We also identified 23 low-resolution SLA class I haplotypes in these pigs and found haplotypes Lr-1.0 (SLA-1*01XX-SLA-3*01XX-SLA-2*01XX) and Lr-4.0 (SLA-1*04XX-SLA-3*04XX-SLA-2*04XX) in all three pig populations with a high prevalence. Over 80% of the pigs examined (n = 162) were found to bear at least one of these haplotypes, resulting in a combined haplotype frequency of nearly 50%. This PCR-SSP-based typing system demonstrates a reliable and unambiguous detection of SLA class I alleles, and can be used to effectively investigate the SLA diversity in outbred pig populations. It will help to identify the role of SLA antigens in disease-resistant pigs and may facilitate the development of effective vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-478
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Genotyping
  • Major histocompatibility complex
  • Outbred pigs
  • Polymorphism
  • SLA
  • SLA diversity
  • Swine leucocyte antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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