Selection experiments in different animal species indicated that it is possible to exploit the genetic differences in resistance to disease (Mallard et al., 1998 ; Morris, 1998). Similar to production traits, the disease-resistance traits are lowly to moderately heritable (Sacco et al., 1994 ; Morris, 1998). A number of immunocompetence traits have been reported in literature for studying the general immunity status in animals. The immune response to non-specific, natural, multi-determinant complex antigen like sheep red blood cells may provide good indicator of natural immunity status of an individual because of its broad immune characteristics, resistance for multiple pathogens, T-cell dependent response and association of the response with MHC haplotypes (Dix and Taylor, 1996 ; Dunnington et al., 1996). Complement is the primary humoral mediator of antigen-antibody reactions. It detects the pathogenic organisms and gets rid of them through various activities like opsonisation, phagocytosis, lysis of foreign cells, regulation of inflammatory and immune response and hence it is reported as an immunocompetence tool in literature (Chanh et al., 1976 ; Skeeles et al., 1980 ; Shen et al., 1984). Lysozyme is considered as a non-specific bactericidal substance and its role as immunostimulant in monogastric animal and fish has been reported (Sohn et al., 2000). The T-cell mediated cytotoxicity as a result of in vivo proliferative response of Tlymphocytes to mitogen like concanvalin-A has been used as an immunoresponse tool by many workers (Cheng and Lamont, 1988 ; Benda et al., 1990). Therefore, to identify the nature of gene action for general disease resistance status in broilers, the present paper evaluates the crossbreeding parameters of four important immunocompetence traits viz. response to sheep red blood cells (SRBC), serum haemolytic complement level (HC), serum lysozyme level (LSZ) and in vivo concanavalin-A (CON) response, using a complete diallel experiment

M. Nath, B. P Singh, V. K Saxena, R. V Singh

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 13, , 13.03, 2002
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