The swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) nomenclature system: Current status after 10 years of its establishment

C.S. Ho, A. Ando, S. Essler, C. Rogel-Gaillard, J.H.Lee, J.K. Lunney, L.B. Schook, D.M. Smith
33rd Conference of the International Society of Animal Genetics, July 15-20, 2012, Cairns, Australia


The SLA Nomenclature Committee was established in 2002 at the 28th ISAG Annual Conference in Göttingen, Germany. It is now also affiliated to the Veterinary Immunology Committee of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS-VIC), which is the umbrella organization for immunology societies worldwide. The nomenclature committee currently comprises a total of eight members from three continents, and its primary functions are: 1) to validate newly identified SLA sequences according to the guidelines established for maintaining high quality standards of the accepted sequences; 2) to assign appropriate nomenclatures for new alleles as they are validated; and 3) to serve as a curator of the IPD-MHC SLA sequence database ( which is the repository for maintaining a list of all recognized SLA genes and their allelic sequences. To date, there are 131 class I (SLA-1, SLA-2, SLA-3, SLA-6) and 174 class II (DRA, DRB1, DQA, DQB1, DMA) alleles officially designated. There are also 31 class I (SLA-1-3-2-6) and 26 class II (DRA-DRB1-DQA-DQB1) high-resolution (allele level) haplotypes designated, while designation of low-resolution (group level) haplotypes is in progress. In conclusion, the SLA system is among the most well characterized MHC systems in non-primate species. Continuous efforts on characterizing new SLA alleles and studying of SLA diversity in various pig populations will further our understanding of the allelic architecture and polymorphism of the SLA system, which may ultimately facilitate the research on swine immunology, vaccine development, and the use of swine as a large biomedical animal model.