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Title: A molecular genetic study of Mhc-DRB genes in the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx)
Author: Abbott, Kristin Marie
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) Mhc-DRB genes and aims to evaluate the relationship between Mhc alleles and disease progression. This thesis also aims to determine if mandrills, representing another OW monkey species, also exhibit an equally high degree of Mhc variability as the rhesus macaque. Given that the mandrill’s natural habitat of origin is forest in Africa where many diseases are prevalent, and that mandrills have obvious secondary sexual characteristics (such as body coloration and extreme sexual dimorphism), extensive Mhc polymorphism is expected since these factors are often linked to the Mhc in other mammals. The subjects of this study were housed at the Centre International de Recherches Médicales, Franceville (CIRMF) in Gabon. The colony was established in 1983 using 13 animals (6 males and 7 females) confiscated by local authorities. All founding members were assumed to be unrelated, but exact age and location of origin was unknown. This limited number of founders may affect subsequent Mhc diversity, by reducing rare alleles and this concept will be explored in the thesis. Additionally, recent studies using mitochondrial DNA have shown a genetic split consistent with the territorial division of the Ogooué River which runs East-West through Gabon. In the present study population, four founding males and two founding females originated from North of the river, including populations either in Cameroon or Gabon. The other mandrills in the study were from South of the Ogooué River and, therefore, I will examine Mhc differnces between members of these two populations in the thesis. At CIRMF, some mandrills have been used for medical studies of local human diseases. Information on disease susceptibility and resistance in the study subjects was also available. For example, some mandrills were experimentally exposed to the Loa loa parasite and the infection level. Therefore, the relationship between L. loa susceptibility and Mhc alleles will also be examined in the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available