Genetic selection increases scrapie resistance in goats

Gepubliceerd op
31 mei 2016

Research in the last decade found that some haplotypes of the prion protein increase resistance to scrapie infection and may be used in selective breeding to help eradicate scrapie (a neurodegenerative disease). This is the conclusion form the EMIDA Goat-TSE-Free project that ended in 2015.

Breeds vary in haplotype frequencies but frequencies of resistant genotypes are generally low. Consequently selective breeding for scrapie resistance can only be slow and will benefit from animals identified in this study. The unexpectedly high frequency of the K222 haplotype in the Dutch Toggenburger underlines the need for conservation of rare breeds in order to conserve genetic diversity rare or absent in other breeds. Maybe in the future an adaptation of the EU legislation can become possible.