Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Invited review: Piglet survival: benefits of the immunocompetence

  • E. M. Heuß (a1), M. J. Pröll-Cornelissen (a1), C. Neuhoff (a1), E. Tholen (a1) and C. Große-Brinkhaus (a1)...

Abstract

Piglet mortality has a negative impact on animal welfare and public acceptance. Moreover, the number of weaned piglets per sow mainly determines the profitability of piglet production. Increased litter sizes are associated with lower birth weights and piglet survival. Decreased survival rates and performance of piglets make the control of diseases and infections within pig production even more crucial. Consequently, selection for immunocompetence becomes an important key aspect within modern breeding programmes. However, the phenotypic recording of immune traits is difficult and expensive to realize within farm routines. Even though immune traits show genetic variability, only few examples exist on their respective suitability within a breeding programme and their relationships to economically important production traits. The analysis of immune traits for an evaluation of immunocompetence to gain a generally improved immune response is promising. Generally, in-depth knowledge of the genetic background of the immune system is needed to gain helpful insights about its possible incorporation into breeding programmes. Possible physiological drawbacks for enhanced immunocompetence must be considered with regards to the allocation theory and possible trade-offs between the immune system and performance. This review aims to discuss the relationships between the immunocompetence of the pig, piglet survival as well as the potential of these traits to be included into a breeding strategy for improved robustness.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Alonso-Spilsbury, M, Ramirez-Necoechea, R, Gonzalez-Lozano, M, Mota-Rojas, D and Trujillo-Ortega, ME 2007. Piglet survival in early lactation: a review. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 6, 7686.
Arango, J, Misztal, I, Tsuruta, S, Culbertson, M, Holl, JW and Herring, W 2006. Genetic study of individual preweaning mortality and birth weight in Large White piglets using threshold-linear models. Livestock Science 101, 208218.
Baxter, EM, Jarvis, S, D’Eath, RB, Ross, DW, Robson, SK, Farish, M, Nevison, IM, Lawrence, AB and Edwards, SA 2008. Investigating the behavioural and physiological indicators of neonatal survival in pigs. Theriogenology 69, 773783.
Baxter, EM, Rutherford, KMD, D’Eath, RB, Arnott, G, Turner, SP, Sandøe, P, Moustsen, VA, Thorup, F, Edwards, SA and Lawrence, AB 2013. The welfare implications of large litter size in the domestic pig II. Management factors. Animal Welfare 22, 219238.
Blasco, A, Martínez-Álvaro, M, García, M-L, Ibáñez-Escriche, N and Argente, M-J 2017. Selection for environmental variance of litter size in rabbits. Genetics, Selection, Evolution 49, 48.
Boddicker, N, Waide, EH, Rowland, RRR, Lunney, JK, Garrick, DJ, Reecy, JM and Dekkers, JCM 2012. Evidence for a major QTL associated with host response to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus challenge. Journal of Animal Science 90, 17331746.
Canario, L, Cantoni, E, Le Bihan, E, Caritez, JC, Billon, Y, Bidanel, JP and Foulley, JL 2006. Between-breed variability of stillbirth and its relationship with sow and piglet characteristics. Journal of Animal Science 84, 31853196.
Chase, CCL and Lunney, JK 2012. Immune system. In Diseases of swine, 10th edition (ed. JJ Zimmerman), pp. 227250. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK.
Clapperton, M, Bishop, SC and Glass, EJ 2005. Innate immune traits differ between Meishan and Large White pigs. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 104, 131144.
Clapperton, M, Diack, AB, Matika, O, Glass, EJ, Gladney, CD, Mellencamp, MA, Hoste, A and Bishop, SC 2009. Traits associated with innate and adaptive immunity in pigs: heritability and associations with performance under different health status conditions. Genetics Selection Evolution 41, 54.
Clapperton, M, Glass, EJ and Bishop, SC 2008. Pig peripheral blood mononuclear leucocyte subsets are heritable and genetically correlated with performance. Animal 2, 15751584.
Colditz, IG 2009. Allocation of resources to immune responses. In Resource allocation theory applied to farm animal production (ed. WM Rauw), pp. 192209. CAB International Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
Colditz, IG and Hine, BC 2016. Resilience in farm animals: biology, management, breeding and implications for animal welfare. Animal Production Science 19611983.
Collins, AM 2014. On-farm measures to monitor the health and immune status of pig. In Breeding focus 2014 – improving resilience (ed. S Hermesch and S Dominik), pp. 3149. University of New England, Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, Armidale, Australia.
Damgaard, LH, Rydhmer, L, Lovendahl, P and Grandinson, K 2003. Genetic parameters for within-litter variation in piglet birth weight and change in within-litter variation during suckling. Journal of Animal Science 81, 604610.
Dekkers, J, Rowland, RRR, Lunney, JK and Plastow, G 2017. Host genetics of response to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in nursery pigs. Veterinary Microbiology 209, 107113.
Doeschl-Wilson, AB, Villanueva, B and Kyriazakis, I 2012. The first step toward genetic selection for host tolerance to infectious pathogens. Obtaining the tolerance phenotype through group estimates. Frontiers in Genetics 3, 265.
Dyck, MK and Swiersta, EE 1987. Causes of piglet death from birth to weaning. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 67, 543547.
Edwards, SA 2002. Perinatal mortality in the pig: environmental or physiological solutions? Livestock Production Science 78, 312.
Edwards, SA and Baxter, EM 2015. Piglet mortality: causes and prevention. In The gestating and lactating sow (ed. C Farmer), pp. 253–278. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
erzeugerring.info 2018. Erzeugerringdatenbank des Bundesverbandes Rind und Schwein e.V. Retrieved on June 26, 2018 from https://erzeugerring.info/.
Fay, RA, Dey, PL, Saadie, CM, Buhl, JA and Gebski, VJ 1991. Ponderal index. A better definition of the ‘at risk’ group with intrauterine growth problems than birth-weight for gestational age in term infants. The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 31, 1719.
Fix, JS 2010. Relationship of piglet birth weight with growth, efficiency, composition, and mortality. PhD Thesis. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.
Flori, L, Gao, Y, Laloë, D, Lemonnier, G, Leplat, J-J, Teillaud, A, Cossalter, A-M, Laffitte, J, Pinton, P, Vaureix, C, de, Bouffaud, M, Mercat, M-J, Lefèvre, F, Oswald, IP, Bidanel, J-P and Rogel-Gaillard, C 2011. Immunity traits in pigs: Substantial Genetic Variation and Limited Covariation. PLos One 6, e22717.
Friggens, NC, Blanc, F, Berry, DP and Puillet, L 2017. Review: Deciphering animal robustness. A synthesis to facilitate its use in livestock breeding and management. Animal 11, 22372251.
Gluckman, PD and Hanson, MA 2005. The fetal matrix. Evolution, development, and disease. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Grandinson, K, Lund, MS, Rydhmer, L and Strandberg, E 2002. Genetic parameters for the piglet mortality traits crushing, stillbirth and total mortality, and their relation to birth weight. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A – Animal Science 52, 167173.
Guo, X, Christensen, OF, Ostersen, T, Wang, Y, Lund, MS and Su, G 2015. Improving genetic evaluation of litter size and piglet mortality for both genotyped and nongenotyped individuals using a single-step method. Journal of Animal Science 93, 503512.
Guo, X, Su, G, Christensen, OF, Janss, L and Lund, MS 2016. Genome-wide association analyses using a Bayesian approach for litter size and piglet mortality in Danish Landrace and Yorkshire pigs. Bio Med Central Genomics 17, 468.
Gutiérrez, J, Nieto, B, Piqueras, P, Ibáñez, N and Salgado, C 2006. Genetic parameters for canalisation analysis of litter size and litter weight traits at birth in mice. Genetics Selection Evolution 38, 445.
Guy, SZY, Thomson, PC and Hermesch, S 2012. Selection of pigs for improved coping with health and environmental challenges: breeding for resistance or tolerance? Frontiers in Genetics 3, 281.
Harper, J, Bunter, K, C Hine, B, Hermesch, S and M Collins, A 2018. The association between measures of immune competence of boars and survival of their purebred progeny. In Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production Volume Species - Porcine 2, 7–16 February 2018, Auckland, NZ, p. 368.
Hellbrügge, B, Tölle, K-H, Bennewitz, J, Henze, C, Presuhn, U and Krieter, J 2008. Genetic aspects regarding piglet losses and the maternal behaviour of sows. Part 1. Genetic analysis of piglet mortality and fertility traits in pigs. Animal 2, 12731280.
Henryon, M, Heegaard, PMH, Nielsen, J, Berg, P and Juul-Madsen, HR 2006. Immunological traits have the potential to improve selection of pigs for resistance to clinical and subclinical disease. Animal Science 82, 597606.
Hermesch, S 2014. Breeding disease resilient pigs. In Breeding focus 2014 - improving resilience (ed. S Hermesch and S Dominik), pp. 518. University of New England, Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, Armidale, Australia.
Hermesch, S and Luxford, BG 2018. Genetic parameters for white blood cells, haemoglobin and growth in weaner pigs for genetic improvement of disease resilience. In Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, 7–16 February 2018, Auckland, New Zealand, p. 384.
Hu, Z-L, Park, CA and Reecy, JM 2016. Developmental progress and current status of the Animal QTLdb. Nucleic Acids Research 44, D827D833.
Jonas, E and Rydhmer, L 2018. Effect of candidate genes for maternal ability on piglet survival and growth. Livestock Science 207, 8390.
Kanis, E, van den Belt, H, Groen, AF, Schakel, J and Greef, KH de 2004. Breeding for improved welfare in pigs: a conceptual framework and its use in practice. Animal Science 78, 315329.
Kapell, DNRG, Ashworth, CJ, Knap, PW and Roehe, R 2011. Genetic parameters for piglet survival, litter size and birth weight or its variation within litter in sire and dam lines using Bayesian analysis. Livestock Science 135, 215224.
Kause, A 2011. Genetic analysis of tolerance to infections using random regressions. A simulation study. Genetics Research 93, 291302.
Knap, PW 2005. Breeding robust pigs. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 45, 763773.
Knap, PW 2009. Robustness. In Resource allocation theory applied to farm animal production (ed. WM Rauw), pp. 288301. CAB International Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
Knap, PW 2014. Pig breeding goals in competitive markets. In Proceedings of 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, 18–22 August 2014, Vancouver, Canada, pp. 007.
Knap, PW and Su, G 2008. Genotype by environment interaction for litter size in pigs as quantified by reaction norms analysis. Animal 2, 17421747.
Knol, EF 2001. Genetic aspects of piglet survival. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Knol, EF, Leenhouwers, JI and van der Lende, T 2002. Genetic aspects of piglet survival. Livestock Production Science 78, 4755.
Knol, EF, Nielsen, B and Knap, PW 2016. Genomic selection in commercial pig breeding. Animal Frontiers 6, 1522.
Le Dividich, J, Charneca, R and Thomas, F 2017. Relationship between birth order, birth weight, colostrum intake, acquisition of passive immunity and pre-weaning mortality of piglets. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 15, e0603.
Le Dividich, J, Rooke, JA and Herpin, P 2005. Nutritional and immunological importance of colostrum for the new-born pig. Journal of Agricultural Science 143, 469485.
Lu, X, Liu, J-F, Gong, Y-F, Wang, Z-P, Liu, Y and Zhang, Q 2011. Mapping quantitative trait loci for T lymphocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood in swine. Bio Med Central Genetics 12, 79.
Magnusson, U, Wilkie, B, Mallard, B, Rosendal, S and Kennedy, B 1998. Mycoplasma hyorhinis infection of pigs selectively bred for high and low immune response. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 61, 8396.
Mallard, BA and Wilkie, BN 2007. Phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic variation of immune response and disease resistance traits of pigs. Advances in Pork Production 18, 139146.
Mallard, BA, Wilkie, BN, Kennedy, BW and Quinton, M 1992. Use of estimated breeding values in a selection index to breed Yorkshire pigs for high and low immune and innate resistance factors. Animal Biotechnology 3, 257280.
Mangino, M, Roederer, M, Beddall, MH, Nestle, FO and Spector, TD 2017. Innate and adaptive immune traits are differentially affected by genetic and environmental factors. Nature Communications 8, 13850.
Merks, JWM, Mathur, PK and Knol, EF 2012. New phenotypes for new breeding goals in pigs. Animal 6, 535543.
Mormede, P and Terenina, E 2012. Molecular genetics of the adrenocortical axis and breeding for robustness. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 43, 116131.
Mpetile, Z, Young, JM, Gabler, NK, Dekkers, JCM and Tuggle, CK 2015. Assessing peripheral blood cell profile of Yorkshire pigs divergently selected for residual feed intake. Journal of Animal Science 93, 892899.
Mulder, HA 2016. Genomic selection improves response to selection in resilience by exploiting genotype by environment interactions. Frontiers in Genetics 7, 178.
Mulder, HA, Hill, WG and Knol, EF 2015. Heritable environmental variance causes nonlinear relationships between traits: application to birth weight and stillbirth of pigs. Genetics Research 199, 12551269.
Mulder, HA and Rashidi, H 2017. Selection on resilience improves disease resistance and tolerance to infections. Journal of Animal Science 95, 33463358.
Nielsen, B, Su, G, Lund, MS and Madsen, P 2013. Selection for increased number of piglets at d 5 after farrowing has increased litter size and reduced piglet mortality. Journal of Animal Science 91, 25752582.
Onteru, SK, Fan, B, Du, Z-Q, Garrick, DJ, Stalder, KJ and Rothschild, MF 2012. A whole-genome association study for pig reproductive traits. Animal Genetics 43, 1826.
Ponsuksili, S, Reyer, H, Trakooljul, N, Murani, E and Wimmers, K 2016. Single- and Bayesian multi-marker genome-wide association for haematological parameters in pigs. PLoS One 11, e0159212.
Popescu, L, Gaudreault, NN, Whitworth, KM, Murgia, MV, Nietfeld, JC, Mileham, A, Samuel, M, Wells, KD, Prather, RS and Rowland, RRR 2017. Genetically edited pigs lacking CD163 show no resistance following infection with the African swine fever virus isolate, Georgia 2007/1. Virology 501, 102106.
Raberg, L, Graham, AL and Read, AF 2009. Decomposing health: tolerance and resistance to parasites in animals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364, 3749.
Rashidi, H, Mulder, HA, Mathur, P, van Arendonk, JAM and Knol, EF 2014. Variation among sows in response to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. Journal of Animal Science 92, 95105.
Rauw, WM 2012. Immune response from a resource allocation perspective. Frontiers in Genetics 3, 267.
Reiner, G 2016. Genetic resistance - an alternative for controlling PRRS? Porcine Health Management 2, 27.
Roehe, R and Kalm, E 2000. Estimation of genetic and environmental risk factors associated with pre-weaning mortality in piglets using generalized linear mixed models. Animal Science 70, 227240.
Roehe, R, Shrestha, NP and Mekkawy, W 2009. Genetic analyses of piglet survival and individual birth weight on first generation data of a selection experiment for piglet survival under outdoor conditions. Livestock Science 121, 173181.
Roehe, R, Shrestha, NP, Mekkawy, W, Baxter, EM, Knap, PW, Smurthwaite, KM, Jarvis, S, Lawrence, AB and Edwards, SA 2010. Genetic parameters of piglet survival and birth weight from a two-generation crossbreeding experiment under outdoor conditions designed to disentangle direct and maternal effects. Journal of Animal Science 88, 12761285.
Rohrer, GA, Rempel, LA, Miles, JR, Keele, JW, Wiedmann, RT and Vallet, JL 2014. Identifying genetic loci controlling neonatal passive transfer of immunity using a hybrid genotyping strategy. Animal Genetics 45, 340349.
Rootwelt, V, Reksen, O, Farstad, W and Framstad, T 2013. Postpartum deaths: piglet, placental, and umbilical characteristics. Journal of Animal Science 91, 26472656.
Rutherford, KMD, Baxter, EM, D’Eath, RB, Turner, SP, Arnott, G, Roehe, R, Ask, B, Sandoe, P, Moustsen, VA, Thorup, F, Edwards, SA, Berg, P and Lawrence, AB 2013. The welfare implications of large litter size in the domestic pig I: biological factors. Animal Welfare 22, 199218.
Rydhmer, L 2000. Genetics of sow reproduction, including puberty, oestrus, pregnancy, farrowing and lactation. Livestock Production Science 66, 112.
Rydhmer, L 2005. Swine breeding programmes in the Nordic countries. Retrieved on June 18, 2018 from http://www.nsif.com/conferences/2005/pdf%5CBreedingNordicCountries.pdf.
Schalm, OW, Jain, NC and Caroll, EJ 1975. Veternity haematology, 3rd edition. Lea and Fabiger, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Schneider, JF, Rempel, LA, Snelling, WM, Wiedmann, RT, Nonneman, DJ and Rohrer, GA 2012. Genome-wide association study of swine farrowing traits. Part II: Bayesian analysis of marker data. Journal of Animal Science 90, 33603367.
Sell-Kubiak, E, Duijvesteijn, N, Lopes, MS, Janss, LLG, Knol, EF, Bijma, P and Mulder, HA 2015a. Genome-wide association study reveals novel loci for litter size and its variability in a Large White pig population. Bio Med Central Genomics 16, 1049.
Sell-Kubiak, E, Wang, S, Knol, EF and Mulder, HA 2015b. Genetic analysis of within-litter variation in piglets’ birth weight using genomic or pedigree relationship matrices. Journal of Animal Science 93, 14711480.
Seutter, U 1995. Einfluss von Rasse, Haltung, Fütterung, Management, Alter und Reproduktionsstadium auf hämatologische und klinisch-chemische Parameter beim Schwein. Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.
Simms, EL 2000. Defining tolerance as a norm of reaction. Evolutionary Ecology 14, 563570.
Stear, MJ, Bishop, SC, Mallard, BA and Raadsma, H 2001. The sustainability, feasibility and desirability of breeding livestock for disease resistance. Research in Veterinary Science 71, 17.
Theil, PK, Lauridsen, C and Quesnel, H 2014. Neonatal piglet survival. Impact of sow nutrition around parturition on fetal glycogen deposition and production and composition of colostrum and transient milk. Animal 8, 10211030.
Tizard, IR 2013. Veterinary immunology, 9th edition. Elsevier/Saunders, St. Louis, MI, USA.
Trujillo-Ortega, ME, Mota-Rojas, D, Olmos-Hernández, A, Alonso-Spilsbury, M, González, M, Orozco, H, Ramírez-Necoechea, R and Nava-Ocampo, AA 2007. A study of piglets born by spontaneous parturition under uncontrolled conditions: could this be a naturalistic model for the study of intrapartum asphyxia? Acta Bio-Medica: Atenei Parmensis 78, 2935.
van der Lende, T and de Jager, D 1991. Death risk and preweaning growth rate of piglets in relation to the within-litter weight distribution at birth. Livestock Production Science 28, 7384.
Wang, Y, Ding, X, Tan, Z, Ning, C, Xing, K, Yang, T, Pan, Y, Sun, D and Wang, C 2017. Genome-wide association study of piglet uniformity and farrowing interval. Frontiers in Genetics 8, 194.
Wang, Y, Ding, X, Tan, Z, Xing, K, Yang, T, Pan, Y, Mi, S, Sun, D and Wang, C 2018. Genome-wide association study for reproductive traits in a Large White pig population. Animal Genetics 49, 127131.
Watson, H 2015. Biological membranes. Essays in Biochemistry 59, 4369.
Wilkie, B and Mallard, B 1999. Selection for high immune response: an alternative approach to animal health maintenance? Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 72, 231235.
Zhang, F, Zhang, Z, Yan, X, Chen, H, Zhang, W, Hong, Y and Huang, L 2014. Genome-wide association studies for hematological traits in Chinese Sutai pigs. Bio Med Central Genetics 15, 41.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

animal
  • ISSN: 1751-7311
  • EISSN: 1751-732X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Heuß et al. supplementary material
Tables S1-S4

 Word (125 KB)
125 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed