Association of BoLA DRB3 alleles with variability in immune response among the crossbred cattle vaccinated for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)

G. R. Gowane, A. K. Sharma, M. Sankar, K. Narayanan, Biswajit Das, S. Subramaniam, B. Pattnaik

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21 Scopus citations


Polymorphism of bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA) DRB3 gene is being intensively investigated for potential association with economically important diseases of cattle. Accordingly, we investigated the association of DRB3 Exon 2 polymorphism as evidenced by the variation in the binding pockets with variability in immune response to inactivated trivalent (O, A and Asia1) foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) vaccine in a closed population of crossbred cattle. Antibody titer of ≥1.8 was set as the cut off value to distinguish the protected (≥1.8) and unprotected (<1.8) animals. Eleven different alleles of over 3% frequency were detected in the population. We found that DRB3 alleles *0201, *0801 and *1501 always ranked high for protective immune response whereas alleles *0701, *1103 and *1101 consistently ranked low for unprotected immune response for all the three serotypes. Rank correlation of DRB3 alleles among the three serotypes was positive, high in magnitude and statistically significant (P<0.05). Logistic regression analysis revealed that odds of protection from the vaccine were highest for all the three serotypes if allele *1501 was present and strengthened the results of allele ranking. Predicted amino acid substitution in the peptide binding pockets revealed that all the important sites had high Wu-Kabat index. Similarly, specific residues in pockets were crucial for immune response to FMD vaccine. There were specific substitutions in un-protected alleles such as absence of acidic amino acids substituted by basic amino acid at β71, presence of non-polar cysteine or basic histidine at β30 and presence of polar tyrosine at β37. From the observations, we hypothesize that the substitutions lead to unique conformational changes in the protein products of the studied alleles that would associate with the protective or unprotective antibody response to FMDV vaccine. The knowledge has potential implications in future selection programs if integrated with the complete BoLA haplotype details and production traits of the herd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine leukocyte antigen
  • Crossbred cattle
  • FMD
  • Vaccine genetics


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