Polymorphisms of Codons 110, 146, 211 and 222 at the Goat PRNP Locus and Their Association with Scrapie in Greece

Gelasakis, Athanasios I.; Boukouvala, Evridiki; Babetsa, Maria; Katharopoulos, Efstathios; Palaska, Vayia; Papakostaki, Dimitra; Giadinis, Nektarios D.; Loukovitis, Dimitrios; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Ekateriniadou, Loukia V.


Scrapie is considered an endemic disease in both sheep and goats in Greece. However, contrary to sheep, in goats more than one prion protein (PrP) polymorphism has been recognized as a candidate for resistance breeding against the disease. For an impression, candidates which are circulating, (i) brain samples (n = 525) from scrapie-affected (n = 282) and non-affected (n = 243) animals within the national surveillance program, and (ii) individual blood samples (n = 1708) from affected (n = 241) and non-affected (n = 1467) herds, in a large part of mainland Greece and its islands, were collected and assayed. A dedicated Taqman method was used to test for amino acid polymorphisms 110T/P, 146N/S/D, 211R/Q, and 222Q/K. Highly prevalent genotypes were 110TT, 146NN, 211RR, and 222QQ. The frequencies of polymorphisms in blood and negative brain samples for codons 110P, 211Q, and 222K were 4.0%, 3.0%, and 1.9%, respectively, while 146D (0.7%) was present only on Karpathos island. Codon 110P was exclusively found in scrapie-negative brains, and homozygous 110P/P in two scrapie-negative goats. It is concluded that breeding programs in Karpathos could focus on codon 146D, while in other regions carriers of the 110P and 222K allele should be sought. Case-control and challenge studies are now necessary to elucidate the most efficient breeding strategies.