The association between variation and scrapie incidence was investigated in a highly affected Greek goat herd. Four mutations were identified at codons 171Q/R, 211R/Q, 222Q/K and 240P/S. Lysine at codon 222 was found to be associated with the protection from natural scrapie (=0.0111). Glutamine at codon 211 was observed in eight animals, all of them being scrapie-negative, indicating a possible protective role of this polymorphism although statistical analysis failed to support it (=0.1074). A positive association (=0.0457) between scrapie-affected goats and the wild-type QRQS allele is presented for the first time. In addition, a novel RRQS allele, which is identical to the ARR allele that has been associated with resistance to classical scrapie in sheep, was observed in low frequency. Resistant alleles that include K and Q are absent or rare in sheep and can provide the basis for the development of a feasible breeding programme for scrapie eradication in goats.


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