The northern region of Brazil produces a large number of sheep, with Pará being the largest sheep breeding state in the region. In the Amazon region, livestock production is a challenge due to the high diversity of pathogens affecting humans and animals. Defensins are antimicrobial peptides acting as a first barrier against micro-organisms and present high variation in different organisms. The objective of this study was to detect polymorphisms in exon II in β-defensin II in Amazon sheep.
Cathelicidins are a major family of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), an important component of innate immune system, playing a critical role in host defense and disease resistance in virtually all living species. Polymorphism and functional studies on cathelicidin of Tianzhu white yak contribute to understanding the specific innate immune mechanism in animals living at high altitudes in comparison to cattle and domesticated white yak. Thirty-six individuals of Tianzhu white yak, originating from the area of three ecotypes (Gansu in China), were investigated.