The impact of individual genetic and genomic variations on immune responses is an emerging lever investigated in vaccination strategies. In our study, we used genetic and pre-vaccination blood transcriptomic data to study vaccine effectiveness in pigs. A cohort of 182 Large White pigs was vaccinated against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) at weaning (28 days of age), with a booster 21 days later. Vaccine response was assessed by measuring seric M. hyo antibodies (Ab) at 0 (vaccination day), 21 (booster day), 28, 35, and 118 days post-vaccination (dpv). Inter-individual variability of M. hyo Ab levels was observed at all time points and the corresponding heritabilities ranged from 0.46 to 0.57. Ab persistence was higher in females than in males. Genome-wide association studies with a 658 K SNP panel revealed two genomic regions associated with variations of M. hyo Ab levels at 21 dpv at positions where immunity-related genes have been mapped, DAB2IP on chromosome 1, and ASAP1, CYRIB and GSDMC on chromosome 4. We studied covariations of Ab responses with the pre-vaccination blood transcriptome obtained by RNA-Seq for a subset of 82 pigs. Weighted gene correlation network and differential expression analyses between pigs that differed in Ab responses highlighted biological functions that were enriched in heme biosynthesis and platelet activation for low response at 21 dpv, innate antiviral immunity and dendritic cells for high response at 28 and 35 dpv, and cell adhesion and extracellular matrix for high response at 118 dpv. Sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis identified 101 genes that efficiently predicted divergent responders at all time points. We found weak negative correlations of M. hyo Ab levels with body weight traits, which revealed a trade-off that needs to be further explored. We confirmed the influence of the host genetics on vaccine effectiveness to M. hyo and provided evidence that the pre-vaccination blood transcriptome co-varies with the Ab response. Our results highlight that both genetic markers and blood biomarkers could be used as potential predictors of vaccine response levels and more studies are required to assess whether they can be exploited in breeding programs.
Blanc, F., Maroilley, T., Revilla, M., Lemonnier, G., Leplat J.J., Billon, Y., Ravon, L., Bouchez, O., Bidanel, J.P., Bed’Hom, B., Pinard-van der Laan, M.H., Estellé, J., Rogel-Gaillard, C. (2021). Influence of genetics and the pre-vaccination blood transcriptome on the variability of antibody levels after vaccination against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in pigs. Genetics Selection Evolution 53(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12711-021-00614-5