As genetically resistant individuals, the “elite controllers” (ECs) of human immunodeficiency virus infection have been focused on as the keys to developing further functional treatments in medicine. In the livestock production field, identifying the ECs of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection in cattle is desired to stop BLV transmission chains on farms. Cattle carrying the bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA)-DRB3*009:02 allele (DRB3*009:02) have a strong possibility of being BLV ECs. Most of cattle carrying this allele maintain undetectable BLV proviral loads and do not shed virus even when infected. BLV ECs can act as transmission barriers when placed between uninfected and infected cattle in a barn. To identify cattle carrying DRB3*009:02 in large populations more easily, we developed a pooled testing system. It employs a highly sensitive, specific real-time PCR assay and TaqMan MGB probes (DRB3*009:02-TaqMan assay). Using this system, we determined the percentage of DRB3*009:02-carrying cattle on Kyushu Island, Japan.
Our pooled testing system detected cattle carrying the DRB3*009:02 allele from a DNA pool containing one DRB3*009:02-positive animal and 29 cattle with other alleles. Its capacity is sufficient for herd-level screening for DRB3*009:02-carrying cattle. The DRB3*009:02-TaqMan assay showed high discriminative sensitivity and specificity towards DRB3*009:02, making it suitable for identifying DRB3*009:02-carrying cattle in post-screening tests on individuals. We determined that the percentage of DRB3*009:02-carrying cattle in Kyushu Island was 10.56 %.
With its ease of use and reliable detection, this new method strengthens the laboratory typing for DRB3*009:02-carrying cattle. Thus, our findings support the use of BLV ECs in the field. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.