Prion protein gene polymorphisms in healthy and scrapie-affected sheep in Greece
AuthorBillinis, C.; Psychas, V.; Leontides, L.; Spyrou, V.; Argyroudis, S.; Vlemmas, I.; Leontides, S.; Sklaviadis, T.; Papadopoulos, O.
A total of 216 local crossbred sheep from 16 scrapie-affected Greek flocks and 210 purebred sheep of the milk breeds Chios and Karagouniko from healthy flocks were analysed for scrapie-linked polymorphisms in the prion protein (PrP) gene. Of the 216 sheep in this case-control study, 96 sheep were clinical cases, 25 subclinical cases (asymptomatic at the moment of euthanasia but positive by histopathology and/or ELISA detecting proteinase-resistant PrP) and 95 healthy controls (negative by all evaluations). Polymorphisms at codons 136, 154 and 171 were determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, followed by RFLP and sequencing. Scrapie, both clinical and subclinical, was associated with the genotypes ARQ/ARQ (88 of 110 sheep of that genotype), ARQ/TRQ (9 of 13), ARQ/AHQ (115 of 38) and VRQ/VRQ (9 of 17). Histopathological lesions were more severe in the clinical cases. Genotypes ARQ/ARR (26 sheep), ARQ/ARK (seven sheep), AHQ/ARR (one sheep), ARH/ARH (one sheep) and ARR/ARH (three sheep) were detected exclusively in healthy control sheep. In the purebred survey, four genotypes were present in the Chios sheep (ARQ/ARQ, ARQ/TRQ, ARQ/AHQ and ARQ/ARR) and four in the Karagouniko sheep (ARQ/ARQ, ARQ/AHQ, ARQ/ARR and ARQ/ARH). © 2004 SGM.