In seven European countries (Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom) the frequencies of PrP polymorphisms have been tested in over 6000 goats, from a number of breeds.

The data of this work were collected by six of the eight GoatBSE-project partners and are available as deliverable D1-2.

In the EMIDA-project (1sep2012-31dec2015) more work has been carried out to locate live carriers of interesting polymorphisms for TSE-resistance breeding in the following countries:  France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. For more information direct yourself to jan.langeveld@wur.nl.

Again a report appeared to show the resistance linked to amino acid 222 lysine (222K) in goat prion protein (PrP, gene PRNP) by using experimental scrapie challengs in goats as previosuly performed with scrapie from Italy (link). However, this time not only the 222K allele but also other potentially susceptibility linked PrP polymorphisms were tested, like 142M, 154H, 211Q. In this report using scrapie from France, Lacroux (from the INRA institutes, Toulouse) and others did not only perform challenges via the brain, but also through the mouth. Both routes showed the high level of protection by the 222K allele, both in the heterozygous (Q/K) and the homozygous (K/K) carriers.

Find here the conclusions based on  all research performed in the GoatBSE project as far as the data were available. Experiments were still runing when closed in 2013. Now in 2015 the picture is more completre while still new goat experiments are running in the GOAT-TSE-FREE project period.

In another study of Aguilar-Calvo, goats with the 222K prion protein (PrP) codon appeared relatively highly resistant to oral infection with experimentally derived goat BSE. While wild type goats or 211Q/R goats showed positivity inside brain tissue by immunohistochemistry (microscopy), the 222Q/K goats remained negative. Also when tested for infectivity using the highly BSE-sensitive mouse line Tg110, the wild type and 211Q/R animals became before 37 months after infection clinically ill and appeared PrPSc positive in brain and peripheral tissues. However, very low infectivity was detected in the brain from only one of the two 222Q/K goats euthanized at 44-45mpi; the animals appeared still healthy. Also, only sub-base line traces of infectivity were detected in the eye muscles from both goats, thus suggesting that 222K PRNP variant drastically decreases the susceptibility of goats to goat derived BSE. These results demonstrate that transmission of goat-BSE is genotype dependent and highlight the pivotal protective effect of the 222K PRNP variant in the oral susceptibility of goats to BSE.

Italian researchers present the first ever experimental evidence of scrapie resistance in goats carrying the prion protein PRNP allele 222K.