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Frequencies of PrP genotypes in 38 breeds of sheep sampled in the National Scrapie Plan for Great Britain
  1. R. D. Eglin, BSc1,
  2. R. Warner, MA, DPhil2,
  3. S. Gubbins, BSc, PhD1,
  4. S. K. Sivam, BVSc, CertCHP, MSc, MBA, MRCVS1 and
  5. M. Dawson, BVetMed, MSc, MRCVS2
  1. 1Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, Veterinary Laboratories Agency – Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. 2National Scrapie Plan Administration Centre, DEFRA, Whittington Road, Worcester WR5 2SU


Between October 2001 and January 2003 the prion protein (PrP) genotypes of over 250,000 sheep were determined through the operation of the National Scrapie Plan (NSP); the results for 38 breeds were analysed to provide an estimate of the underlying PrP genotype distribution of the British sheep population. Although there was marked variability among the genotype profiles of the different breeds, several trends emerged. A comparison of the allele frequencies demonstrated that the breeds could be grouped into three categories: breeds dominated by ARR and ARQ in which the frequency of ARR exceeded the frequency of ARQ; breeds dominated by ARR and ARQ in which the frequency of ARQ exceeded the frequency of ARR; and breeds with significant levels of either AHQ, ARH or VRQ. Hill breeds were more likely to have a lower proportion of animals at low risk of scrapie (NSP type 1) and a higher proportion of animals at an intermediate risk of scrapie (NSP type 3) than other breeds. Most breeds had a small proportion of animals at high risk of scrapie (NSP type 5). The frequency of ARR/VRQ (NSP type 4) was variable

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  • Dr Gubbins’s present address is the Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 7NN

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