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Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 27, Supplement 1, pp 31–38 | Cite as

Animal Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies and Genetics

  • U. Agrimi
  • M. Conte
  • L. Morelli
  • M.A. Di Bari
  • G. Di Guardo
  • C. Ligios
  • G. Antonucci
  • G.M. Aufiero
  • N. Pozzato
  • F. Mutinelli
  • R. Nonno
  • G. Vaccari
Article

Abstract

The genotype of the host plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In this respect, the most important factor is represented by the gene of the prion protein (PrP). The present work summarizes the currently available knowledge on the genetic basis of TSEs focusing, in particular, on sheep scrapie. Interest in this disease has grown markedly following the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, both for scientific and health reasons. In Italy, specific research grants from the Ministry of Health and the National Research Council (CNR), together with cooperation between the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and the Istituti Zooprofilattici Sperimentali, have allowed us to study the PrP genotype and to investigate the genetic susceptibility to scrapie in the most important Italian sheep breeds, with special reference to Sarda, Comisana and Massese. The PrP genotype in relation to scrapie susceptibility was also studied in goats of Ionica breed.

polymorphisms prion gene prions sheep transmissible spongiform encephalopathies 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Agrimi
    • 1
  • M. Conte
    • 1
  • L. Morelli
    • 1
  • M.A. Di Bari
    • 1
  • G. Di Guardo
    • 2
    • 3
  • C. Ligios
    • 4
  • G. Antonucci
    • 2
  • G.M. Aufiero
    • 5
  • N. Pozzato
    • 5
  • F. Mutinelli
    • 5
  • R. Nonno
    • 2
  • G. Vaccari
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Laboratorio di Medicina VeterinariaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Regioni Lazio e ToscanaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Università degli Studi di Teramo, Facoltà di Medicina VeterinariaTeramoItaly
  4. 4.Italy
  5. 5.Italy

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