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

Anim Genet. 2010 Aug;41(4):428-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02019.x. Epub 2010 Jan 31.


The highly polymorphic swine leucocyte antigen (SLA) genes are among the most important determinants of swine immune responses to disease and vaccines. Accurate and effective SLA genotyping methods are required to understand how SLA gene polymorphisms affect immunity, especially in outbred pigs with diverse genetic backgrounds. In this study, we present a simple and rapid molecular-based typing system for characterizing SLA class II alleles of the DRB1, DQB1 and DQA loci. This system utilizes a set of 47 sequence-specific PCR primers developed to differentiate alleles by groups that share similar sequence motifs. We applied this typing method to investigate the SLA class II diversity in four populations of outbred pigs (n = 206) and characterized a total of 19 SLA class II haplotypes, six of which were shared by at least three of the sampled pig populations. We found that Lr-0.1 (DRB1*01XX-DQB1*01XX-DQA*01XX) was the most prevalent haplotype with a combined frequency of 16.0%, followed by Lr-0.2 (DRB1*02XX-DQB1*02XX-DQA*02XX) with 14.6% and Lr-0.15b (DRB1*04XX-DQB1*0202-DQA*02XX) with 14.1%. Over 70% of the pigs (n = 147) had at least one copy of one of these three haplotypes. The PCR-based typing system described in this study demonstrates a reliable and unambiguous detection method for SLA class II alleles. It will be a valuable tool for studying the influence of SLA diversity on various immunological, pathological and physiological traits in outbred pigs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Outbred Strains
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics*
  • Swine / genetics*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • swine leukocyte antigen