WSU pioneered another research focused on a genome-wide association study to identify loci putatively associated with tolerance to bovine tuberculosis, an economically important infectious disease in cattle. Bovine paratuberculosis, commonly referred to as Johne's disease, is a contagious bacterial disease estimated to be present in over 65% of US dairy herds and results in annual losses in the hundreds of millions of US dollars. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is the bacteria responsible for Johne's disease.
WSU researchers did the whole genome association analysis using BovineSNP50 BeadChip, and identified multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with Johne's disease after stringent multiple testing correction. The SNPs identified as being associated with tolerance to/infection with MAP include previously unreported regions on chromosome 1 and the X chromosome.
Tolerance, which indicates the fitness of the host at a given level of tissue infection, represents a new way of evaluating the impact of disease on animals and a new means of marker assisted selection for health traits in cattle. Selection of animals for tolerance would put different pressures on the host (cattle) and the pathogen (MAP) and can be an effective means of controlling this disease.
Applications and Advantages
Selection of animals that are more tolerant to MAP infection, which would result in reduction of MAP transmission to other animals in the herd and would ultimately improve profitability in cattle.
US utility patent issued