Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 4453–4461 | Cite as

Associations between the presence of specific antibodies to the West Nile Virus infection and candidate genes in Romanian horses from the Danube delta

  • K. Stejskalova
  • E. Janova
  • C. Horecky
  • E. Horecka
  • P. Vaclavek
  • Z. Hubalek
  • K. Relling
  • M. Cvanova
  • G. D’Amico
  • A. D. Mihalca
  • D. Modry
  • A. Knoll
  • P. HorinEmail author
Original Article


The West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus causing meningoencephalitis in humans and animals. Due to their particular susceptibility to WNV infection, horses serve as a sentinel species. In a population of Romanian semi-feral horses living in the Danube delta region, we have analyzed the distribution of candidate polymorphic genetic markers between anti WNV-IgG seropositive and seronegative horses. Thirty-six SNPs located in 28 immunity-related genes and 26 microsatellites located in the MHC and LY49 complex genomic regions were genotyped in 57 seropositive and 32 seronegative horses. The most significant association (pcorr < 0.0002) was found for genotypes composed of markers of the SLC11A1 and TLR4 genes. Markers of five other candidate genes (ADAM17, CXCR3, IL12A, MAVS, TNFA), along with 5 MHC class I and LY49-linked microsatellites were also associated with the WNV antibody status in this model horse population. The OAS1 gene, previously associated with WNV-induced clinical disease, was not associated with the presence of anti-WNV antibodies.


West Nile virus Horse Restriction fragment length polymorphism Microsatellite SLC11A1 TLR4 MHC NKR Polymorphism 



This research was supported by the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02, and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, project CEITEC 2020 [the Czech National Sustainability Programme NPU LQ1601, Grant No. LQ1601]. The work of ADM and GA was supported by the Grant UEFISCDI PCCDI 57/2018.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All blood samples were collected primarily for veterinary surveillance purposes, as part of the Romanian national strategic plan for diseases surveillance. All samplings were conducted by licensed veterinarians in compliance with all legal, ethical and professional standards and following the verbal consent of all owners.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Stejskalova
    • 1
  • E. Janova
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Horecky
    • 3
    • 4
  • E. Horecka
    • 3
    • 4
  • P. Vaclavek
    • 5
  • Z. Hubalek
    • 6
  • K. Relling
    • 7
  • M. Cvanova
    • 8
  • G. D’Amico
    • 9
  • A. D. Mihalca
    • 9
  • D. Modry
    • 2
    • 7
    • 10
  • A. Knoll
    • 3
    • 4
  • P. Horin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.CEITEC-VFU, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Animal Morphology, Physiology and Genetics, Faculty of AgronomyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.CEITEC-MENDELU, Mendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  5. 5.SVU JihlavaJihlavaCzech Republic
  6. 6.Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Academy of SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  7. 7.Department of Pathology and ParasitologyUniversity of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  8. 8.Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biostatistics and AnalysesMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  9. 9.Department of Parasitology and Parasitic DiseasesUniversity of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-NapocaCluj-NapocaRomania
  10. 10.Institute of ParasitologyBiology Centre of the Czech Academy of SciencesČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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