Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is one of a family of scrapie-like diseases which affect various mammals. Polymorphisms and mutations of the PrP gene have been associated with the incidence of experimental and natural scrapie in other animals and this study of the bovine PrP gene was undertaken to discover whether there was a similar association with PrP genotype in cattle with BSE. There are two known polymorphisms of the coding region of the bovine PrP gene, a silent HindII restriction site polymorphism and a difference in the number of an octapeptide repeated sequence (either five or six copies). An analysis of 370 cattle in Scotland revealed no difference between the frequencies of these PrP genotypes in healthy cattle and cattle with BSE.
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