The need for typing of the swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) is increasing with the expanded use of pigs as models for human diseases and organ-transplantation experiments, their use in infection studies, and for design of veterinary vaccines. Knowledge of SLA sequences is furthermore a prerequisite for the prediction of epitope binding in pigs. The low number of known SLA class I alleles and the limited knowledge of their prevalence in different pig breeds emphasizes the need for efficient SLA typing methods. This study utilizes an SLA class I-typing method based on next-generation sequencing of barcoded PCR amplicons. The amplicons were generated with universal primers and predicted to resolve 68-88% of all known SLA class I alleles dependent on amplicon size. We analyzed the SLA profiles of 72 pigs from four different pig populations; Göttingen minipigs and Belgian, Kenyan, and Danish fattening pigs. We identified 67 alleles, nine previously described haplotypes and 15 novel haplotypes. The highest variation in SLA class I profiles was observed in the Danish pigs and the lowest among the Göttingen minipig population, which also have the highest percentage of homozygote individuals. Highlighting the fact that there are still numerous unknown SLA class I alleles to be discovered, a total of 12 novel SLA class I alleles were identified. Overall, we present new information about known and novel alleles and haplotypes and their prevalence in the tested pig populations.
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- MHC typing
- Next-generation sequencing
- Swine leukocyte antigen