MYD88 and functionally related genes are associated with multiple infections in a model population of Kenyan village dogs
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The purpose of this study was to seek associations between immunity-related molecular markers and endemic infections in a model population of African village dogs from Northern Kenya with no veterinary care and no selective breeding. A population of village dogs from Northern Kenya composed of three sub-populations from three different areas (84, 50 and 55 dogs) was studied. Canine distemper virus (CDV), Hepatozoon canis, Microfilariae (Acantocheilonema dracunculoides, Acantocheilonema reconditum) and Neospora caninum were the pathogens studied. The presence of antibodies (CDV, Neospora), light microscopy (Hepatozoon) and diagnostic PCR (Microfilariae) were the methods used for diagnosing infection. Genes involved in innate immune mechanisms, NOS3, IL6, TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR7, TLR9, LY96, MYD88, and three major histocompatibility genes class II genes were selected as candidates. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were detected by Sanger sequencing, next generation sequencing and PCR-RFLP. The Fisher´s exact test for additive and non-additive models was used for association analyses. Three SNPs within the MYD88 gene and one TLR4 SNP marker were associated with more than one infection. Combined genotypes and further markers identified by next generation sequencing confirmed associations observed for individual genes. The genes associated with infection and their combinations in specific genotypes match well our knowledge on their biological role and on the role of the relevant biological pathways, respectively. Associations with multiple infections observed between the MYD88 and TLR4 genes suggest their involvement in the mechanisms of anti-infectious defenses in dogs.
KeywordsKenyan village dogs Immunity-related genes Associations Infectious diseases
This work was supported by the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0068 and by the project IGA VFU 157/2008/FVL.
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