Susceptibility to scrapie in sheep is influenced by polymorphisms of the prion protein (PrP) gene, whereas no strong association between genetics and scrapie has yet been determined in goats due to the limited number of studies on these animals. In this case-control study on 177 goats from six Italian scrapie outbreaks, the association between PrP alleles and the occurrence of scrapie was studied. Three silent mutations and 11 PrP polymorphisms were identified, of which two polymorphisms (L133Q and M137I) and one silent mutation (T202T) have not been reported previously. Twelve alleles were determined by cloning. Statistical analysis suggested a possible protective role against scrapie for the glutamine to lysine mutation at codon 222.
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