Retrovirology 2017 04 0414(1) 24 doi 10.1186/s12977-017-0348-3
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is the causative agent of enzootic bovine leukosis, a malignant B cell lymphoma that has spread worldwide and causes serious problems for the cattle industry. The BLV proviral load, which represents the BLV genome integrated into host genome, is a useful index for estimating disease progression and transmission risk. Here, we conducted a genome-wide association study to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with BLV proviral load in Japanese Black cattle. The study examined 93 cattle with a high proviral load and 266 with a low proviral load. Three SNPs showed a significant association with proviral load. One SNP was detected in the CNTN3 gene on chromosome 22, and two (which were not in linkage disequilibrium) were detected in the bovine major histocompatibility complex region on chromosome 23. These results suggest that polymorphisms in the major histocompatibility complex region affect proviral load. This is the first report to detect SNPs associated with BLV proviral load in Japanese Black cattle using whole genome association study, and understanding host factors may provide important clues for controlling the spread of BLV in Japanese Black cattle.