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Vet Res. 2008 Jul-Aug;39(4):30. doi: 10.1051/vetres:2008010. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

PrP genetics in ruminant transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

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Roslin Institute Neuropathogenesis Unit, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH 93JF, UK.


Scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) are prion diseases in ruminants with considerable impact on animal health and welfare. They can also pose a risk to human health and control is therefore an important issue. Prion protein (PrP) genetics may be used to control and eventually eradicate animal prion diseases. The PrP gene in sheep and other representatives of the order Artiodactyles has many polymorphisms of which several are crucial determinants of susceptibility to prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). This review will present the current understanding of PrP genetics in ruminants highlighting similarity and difference between the species in the context of TSE.

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