Extensive interbreed, but minimal intrabreed, variation of DLA class II alleles and haplotypes in dogs

L. J. Kennedy, A. Barnes, G. M. Happ, R. J. Quinnell, D. Bennett, J. M. Angles, M. J. Day, N. Carmichael, J. F. Innes, D. Isherwood, S. D. Carter, W. Thomson, W. E R Ollier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The DLA class II genes in the dog major histocompatibility complex are highly polymorphic. To date, 52 DLA-DRB1, 16 DLA-DQA1 and 41 DLA-DQB1 allelic sequences have been assigned. The aim of this study was to examine the intrabreed and interbreed variation of DLA allele and haplotype frequencies in dogs, and to ascertain whether conserved DLA class II haplotypes occur within and between different breeds. One thousand and 25 DNA samples from over 80 different breeds were DLA class II genotyped, the number of dogs per breed ranging from 1 to 61. DNA sequence based typing and sequence specific oligonucleotide probing were used to characterize dogs for their DLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 alleles. The high frequency of DLA class II homozygous animals (35%), allowed the assignment of many haplotypes despite the absence of family data. Four new DLA alleles were identified during the course of this study. Analysis of the data revealed considerable interbreed variation, not only in allele frequency, but also in the numbers of alleles found per breed. There was also considerable variation in the number of breeds in which particular alleles were found. These interbreed variations were found in all three DLA class II loci tested, and also applied to the three-locus haplotypes identified. Within this data set, 58 different DLA-DRB1/DQA1/DQB1 three-locus haplotypes were identified, which were all found in at least two different animals. Some of the haplotypes appeared to be characteristic of certain breeds. The high interbreed, and relatively low intrabreed, variation of MHC alleles and haplotypes found in this study could provide an explanation for reports of interbreed variation of immune responses to vaccines, viruses and other infections.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)194-204
    Number of pages10
    JournalTissue Antigens
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Class II haplotypes
    • DLA
    • Dog breeds
    • MHC


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