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Goats singly heterozygous for PRNP S146 or K222 orally inoculated with classical scrapie at birth show no disease at ages well beyond 6 years

Cinar, M.U., Schneider, D.A., Waldron, D.F., O’Rourke, K.I., White, S.N.
The veterinary journal 2018 v.233 pp. 19-24
alleles, amino acid substitution, biopsy, genetic resistance, goats, heterozygosity, homozygosity, prions, scrapie, sheep
Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of sheep and goats, and scrapie eradication programs in many parts of the world rely on strong genetic resistance to classical scrapie in sheep. However, the utility of putative resistance alleles in goats has been a focus of research because goats can transmit scrapie to sheep and may serve as a scrapie reservoir. Prior work showed that disease-free survival time was significantly extended in orally inoculated goats singly heterozygous for prion amino acid substitutions S146 or K222, but average durations were only around 3 years post-inoculation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether extended survival would exceed 6 years, which represents the productive lifetimes of most commercial goats.While all control homozygotes were clinically affected by an average of <2 years, none of the NS146 or QK222 goats developed clinical scrapie or had PrPSc-positive rectal biopsies. Several NS146 and QK222 goats developed other conditions unrelated to scrapie, but tissue accumulation of PrPSc was not detected in any of these animals. The NS146 heterozygotes have remained disease-free for an average of 2734days (approximately 7.5 years), the longest duration of any classical scrapie challenge experiment with any genotype to date. The QK222 heterozygotes have remained disease-free for an average of 2450days (approximately 6.7 years), the longest reported average duration for QK222 goats challenged with classical scrapie. This research is ongoing, but the current results demonstrate S146 and K222 confer strong resistance to classical scrapie in goats.