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The genetics of a bird or flock has a profound impact on its ability to resist disease, because genetics define the maximum achievable performance level. Careful attention should be paid to genetics as an important component of a comprehensive disease management program including high-level biosecurity, sanitation, and appropriate vaccination programs. Some specific genes (e.g., the MHC) are known to play a role in disease resistance, but resistance is generally a polygenic phenomenon. Future research directions will expand knowledge of the impact of genetics on disease resistance by identifying non-MHC genetic control of resistance and by further elucidating mechanisms regulating expression of genes related to immune response.
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Poultry Science Association Inc.
Lamont, Susan J., "Impact of genetics on disease resistance" (1998). Animal Science Publications. 822.