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Vet Res. 2012 Feb 1;43:8. doi: 10.1186/1297-9716-43-8.

Resistance to classical scrapie in experimentally challenged goats carrying mutation K222 of the prion protein gene.

Author information

1
CEA, Italian Reference Laboratory for TSEs, Neuroscienze - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Via Bologna 148, 10154 Torino, Italy. pierluigi.acutis@izsto.it.

Abstract

Susceptibility of sheep to scrapie, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of small ruminants, is strongly influenced by polymorphisms of the prion protein gene (PRNP). Breeding programs have been implemented to increase scrapie resistance in sheep populations; though desirable, a similar approach has not yet been applied in goats. European studies have now suggested that several polymorphisms can modulate scrapie susceptibility in goats: in particular, PRNP variant K222 has been associated with resistance in case-control studies in Italy, France and Greece. In this study we investigated the resistance conferred by this variant using a natural Italian goat scrapie isolate to intracerebrally challenge five goats carrying genotype Q/Q 222 (wild type) and five goats carrying genotype Q/K 222. By the end of the study, all five Q/Q 222 goats had died of scrapie after a mean incubation period of 19 months; one of the five Q/K 222 goats died after 24 months, while the other four were alive and apparently healthy up to the end of the study at 4.5 years post-challenge. All five of these animals were found to be scrapie negative. Statistical analysis showed that the probability of survival of the Q/K 222 goats versus the Q/Q 222 goats was significantly higher (p = 0.002). Our study shows that PRNP gene mutation K222 is strongly associated with resistance to classical scrapie also in experimental conditions, making it a potentially positive target for selection in the frame of breeding programs for resistance to classical scrapie in goats.

PMID:
22296670
PMCID:
PMC3296670
DOI:
10.1186/1297-9716-43-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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