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Genomic Regions Associated with IgE Levels against Culicoides spp. Antigens in Three Horse Breeds

1
Livestock Genetics, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
2
Department of Human Genetics, KU Leuven, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
3
School of Life & Environmental Sciences, B19-603 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4
Research Group Livestock Physiology, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven, Leuven, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
5
Biomedical Research Institute, Hasselt University, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
6
Cell Biology and Immunology Group, Wageningen University & Research, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
7
Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
8
Animal Breeding and Genomics, Wageningen University & Research, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
9
Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN), Wageningen University & Research, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(8), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080597
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 8 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Genetics)
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Abstract

Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH), which is a cutaneous allergic reaction to antigens from Culicoides spp., is the most prevalent skin disorder in horses. Misdiagnosis is possible, as IBH is usually diagnosed based on clinical signs. Our study is the first to employ IgE levels against several recombinant Culicoides spp. allergens as an objective, independent, and quantitative phenotype to improve the power to detect genetic variants that underlie IBH. Genotypes of 200 Shetland ponies, 127 Icelandic horses, and 223 Belgian Warmblood horses were analyzed while using a mixed model approach. No single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) passed the Bonferroni corrected significance threshold, but several regions were identified within and across breeds, which confirmed previously identified regions of interest and, in addition, identifying new regions of interest. Allergen-specific IgE levels are a continuous and objective phenotype that allow for more powerful analyses when compared to a case-control set-up, as more significant associations were obtained. However, the use of a higher density array seems necessary to fully employ the use of IgE levels as a phenotype. While these results still require validation in a large independent dataset, the use of allergen-specific IgE levels showed value as an objective and continuous phenotype that can deepen our understanding of the biology underlying IBH. View Full-Text
Keywords: Belgian Warmblood horse; diagnostic ELISA test; genome-wide association study; Icelandic horse; IgE; insect bite hypersensitivity; Shetland pony; summer eczema Belgian Warmblood horse; diagnostic ELISA test; genome-wide association study; Icelandic horse; IgE; insect bite hypersensitivity; Shetland pony; summer eczema
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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François, L.; Hoskens, H.; Velie, B.D.; Stinckens, A.; Tinel, S.; Lamberigts, C.; Peeters, L.; Savelkoul, H.F.J.; Tijhaar, E.; Lindgren, G.; Janssens, S.; Ducro, B.J.; Buys, N.; Schurink, A. Genomic Regions Associated with IgE Levels against Culicoides spp. Antigens in Three Horse Breeds. Genes 2019, 10, 597.

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