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J Gen Virol. 2006 Nov;87(Pt 11):3141-9.

PrP genotypes of atypical scrapie cases in Great Britain.

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Department of TSE Molecular Biology, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.


Great Britain and elsewhere have detected atypical scrapie infection in sheep with PrP genotypes thought to be genetically resistant to the classical form of scrapie. DNA sequencing of the PrP gene of British atypical scrapie cases (n=69), classical scrapie cases (n=59) and scrapie-free controls (n=138) was undertaken to identify whether PrP variants, other than the three well-characterized polymorphic codons, influenced susceptibility to atypical scrapie infection. Four non-synonymous changes, M112T, M137T, L141F and P241S, were detected that are most probably associated with the A(136)R(154)Q(171) haplotype. Only the PrP variant containing a phenylalanine residue at amino acid position 141 was found to be associated more commonly with the atypical scrapie cases. In addition to the single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the ARQ allele, two out of nine atypical scrapie cases with the ARR/ARR genotype were found to contain a 24 bp insertion, leading to an additional octapeptide repeat. In terms of PrP genetics, one classification of the GB scrapie cases examined in this study would place animals carrying any homozygous or heterozygous combination of ARR, AHQ or AF(141)RQ alleles, or any one of these alleles when paired with ARQ, as being susceptible to atypical scrapie infection, and animals heterozygous or homozygous for VRQ or homozygous for ARQ as being susceptible to classical scrapie disease. The AHQ PrP allele was associated with the highest incidence of atypical scrapie (263 per 100 000 alleles), whilst VRQ was associated with the lowest incidence (10 per 100 000 alleles).

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