, Volume 70, Issue 10, pp 625–632 | Cite as

Comparative MHC nomenclature: report from the ISAG/IUIS-VIC committee 2018

  • Keith T. BallingallEmail author
  • Ronald E. Bontrop
  • Shirley A. Ellis
  • Unni Grimholt
  • John A. Hammond
  • Chak-Sum Ho
  • Jim Kaufman
  • Lorna J. Kennedy
  • Giuseppe Maccari
  • Donald Miller
  • James Robinson
  • Steven G. E. Marsh
Original Article


Significant progress has been made over the last decade in defining major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity at the nucleotide, allele, haplotype, diplotype, and population levels in many non-human species. Much of this progress has been driven by the increased availability and reduced costs associated with nucleotide sequencing technologies. This report provides an update on the activities of the comparative MHC nomenclature committee which is a standing committee of both the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) and the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) where it operates under the umbrella of the Veterinary Immunology Committee (VIC). A previous report from this committee in 2006 defined the role of the committee in providing guidance in the development of a standardized nomenclature for genes and alleles at MHC loci in non-human species. It described the establishment of the Immuno Polymorphism Database, IPD-MHC, which continues to provide public access to high quality MHC sequence data across a range of species. In this report, guidelines for the continued development of a universal MHC nomenclature framework are described, summarizing the continued development of each species section within the IPD-MHC project.


Comparative MHC Nomenclature IPD-MHC 



The support of all those who provide their time to assign official names to MHC alleles across many different species is acknowledged. The Comparative MHC Nomenclature Committee would also like to acknowledge the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for supporting the maintenance and development of the IPD-MHC through grant BB/M011488/1 and IUIS-VIC for supporting the comparative MHC workshops at ISAG and IVIS meetings.

Funding information

KB receives funding from the Scottish Government’s strategic research program and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 731014. JAH and GM were also supported by the BBSRC through projects BBS/E/I/00001710, BBS/E/I/00007030, BBS/E/I/00007038, and BBS/E/I/00007039.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith T. Ballingall
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald E. Bontrop
    • 2
  • Shirley A. Ellis
    • 3
  • Unni Grimholt
    • 4
  • John A. Hammond
    • 3
  • Chak-Sum Ho
    • 5
  • Jim Kaufman
    • 6
  • Lorna J. Kennedy
    • 7
  • Giuseppe Maccari
    • 3
    • 8
  • Donald Miller
    • 9
  • James Robinson
    • 8
    • 10
  • Steven G. E. Marsh
    • 8
    • 10
  1. 1.Moredun Research Institute, MidlothianUK and Chair of the Comparative MHC Nomenclature CommitteeEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Biomedical Primate Research CentreRijswijkThe Netherlands
  3. 3.The Pirbright InstituteSurreyUK
  4. 4.Norwegian Veterinary InstituteOsloNorway
  5. 5.Gift of Life MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  6. 6.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  7. 7.Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical ResearchManchesterUK
  8. 8.Anthony Nolan Research InstituteLondonUK
  9. 9.Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary MedicineCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  10. 10.UCL Cancer Institute, Royal Free CampusLondonUK

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