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Open Access Research

IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®: a standardized approach for immunogenetics and immunoinformatics

Marie-Paule Lefranc

Author Affiliations

IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®, Université Montpellier II, Institut Universitaire de France, Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire LIGM, UPR CNRS 1142, Institut de Génétique Humaine IGH, 141 rue de la Cardonille, 34396 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

Immunome Research 2005, 1:3  doi:10.1186/1745-7580-1-3

Published: 20 September 2005

Abstract

IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®http://imgt.cines.fr webcite, was created in 1989 by the Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire (LIGM) (Université Montpellier II and CNRS) at Montpellier, France. IMGT is a high quality integrated knowledge resource specialized in immunoglobulins (IG), T cell receptors (TR), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of human and other vertebrates, and related proteins of the immune system (RPI) of any species which belong to the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) and to the MHC superfamily (MhcSF). IMGT consists of five databases, ten on-line tools and more than 8,000 HTML pages of Web resources. IMGT provides a common access to standardized data from genome, genetics, proteome and three-dimensional structures. The accuracy and the consistency of IMGT data are based on IMGT-ONTOLOGY, a semantic specification of terms to be used in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics. IMGT-ONTOLOGY comprises six main concepts: IDENTIFICATION, CLASSIFICATION, DESCRIPTION, NUMEROTATION, ORIENTATION and OBTENTION. Based on these concepts, the controlled vocabulary and the annotation rules necessary for the immunogenetics data identification, classification, description and numbering and for the management of IMGT knowledge are defined in the IMGT Scientific chart. IMGT is the international reference in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics for medical research (repertoire analysis of the IG antibody sites and of the TR recognition sites in autoimmune and infectious diseases, AIDS, leukemias, lymphomas, myelomas), veterinary research (IG and TR repertoires in farm and wild life species), genome diversity and genome evolution studies of the adaptive immune responses, biotechnology related to antibody engineering (single chain Fragment variable (scFv), phage displays, combinatorial libraries, chimeric, humanized and human antibodies), diagnostics (detection and follow up of residual diseases) and therapeutical approaches (grafts, immunotherapy, vaccinology). IMGT is freely available at http://imgt.cines.fr webcite.

Keywords:
IMGT; antibody; immunoglobulin; T cell receptor; superfamily; MHC; HLA; ontology; database; information system; knowledge resource; immunoinformatics; immunogenetics; Collier de Perles; three-dimensional; 3D structure; polymorphism; annotation