Project: Towards breeding of goats for genetically determined TSEs resistance.

/Key Words: CURRENTLY, in goats the only measures for control of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases) are a complete cull of the entire herd. Such practices are highly undesirable for both the farming and non-farming society. Moreover, in contrast to cattle, goats are hardly subjected to active control measures anymore, therefore TSE positive goats or their products can enter the human food chain. Selection possibilities to exclude genetically susceptible animals or to enrich for TSE resistant ones, as is being implemented in the EU with success for sheep, are emerging but they are not yet accepted for application. From progress in field studies at various geographical regions as well as in ongoing EU GoatBSE funded experimental work (, two alleles of the prion protein (PrP) have emerged behaving similarly to the proven sheep 171R (ARR) allele associated with resistance. An EFSA opinion published in 2009 concluded that although associations of disease resistance and/or prolongation with PrP polymorphisms are already recognized, it remained to be determined whether and which of the allelic variants are truly associated with resistance to infection from a variety of sources. This proposal wishes to investigate and supply the necessary experimental data to enable the implementation of a breeding programme towards TSE resistant goats. PARTICIPATING PARTNERS have made progress in understanding the influence on disease risk with several of the candidate resistance/susceptibility alleles, and will here focus their studies on the 222K and 146S/D PrP codons; one or the other occur in all regions and goat breeds of Europe, with frequencies varying between 0.5-25%. Importantly it still remains uncertain whether these allele variants in goats confer sufficient resistance to the spectrum of TSE agents (including BSE) currently circulating in EU. The low frequency of some of these resistance alleles necessitates the elaboration of strategies for an effective breeding for resistance policy. THE PROPOSED PROJECT is a logical follow-up to knowledge collected on goats over the last 8 years in some national ongoing programmes, and EU projects \"NeuroPrion TSEgoat\" and \"GoatBSE\", and various national activities in goat TSEs eradication. Based on this progress, the EFSA \"Scientific Opinion on genetic TSE resistance in goats in Europe\" defines the stage for the current proposal (Nov 2009). SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES ARE: 1) to collect experimental data to ascertain the degree of resistance conferred by the 146 and 222 codon alleles against TSEs in goats, specifically scrapie and BSE; 2) to prepare and where possible initiate small scale breeding for resistance activities that will generate information for professional goat breeders and producers necessary as support for a more general breeding strategy for TSE resistance in goats. 3) Preparing policy makers and stakeholders towards TSE resistance breeding.

Duration 31/03/2015
Website visit project website
Network EMIDA
Call 2nd EMIDA Joint Call on Emerging and Major Infectious Diseases of Livestock

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs United Kingdom
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency United Kingdom
Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Germany
French National Institute for Agricultural Research France
French National Research Agency France
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health Germany
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte - Liguria e Valle d'Aosta Italy
Ministry of Economic Affairs Netherlands
Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs Greece
Ministry of Health - Department for Veterinary Public Health, Nutrition and Food Safety Italy
National Agricultural Research Foundation Greece
National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology Spain
University of Zaragoza Spain
Wageningen University & Research - Wageningen Bioveterinary Research Coordinator Netherlands
Wageningen University & Research - Wageningen Bioveterinary Research Netherlands