Wildlife Disease and Zoonotics


Date of this Version



Published in The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 2010;74:228–232


This report describes the genetics of the prion protein gene (PRNP) at codons 136, 154, and 171 for sheep diagnosed with naturally acquired classical scrapie in Canada between 1998 and 2008. Genotyping analysis was performed on 249 sheep with confirmed classical scrapie infection representing 98 flocks from 6 provinces. A further case-control analysis of 3 of these flocks compared the genotypes between infected sheep (n = 72) and those of their healthy flockmates (n = 1990). The incidence of classical scrapie in the Canadian sheep population was highly associated with the ARQ haplotype (91.8%) and the ARQ/ARQ genotype (91.6%). In addition, the ARQ haplotype was found at significantly higher frequency in scrapie-infected sheep when compared with their healthy flockmates. Comparison with other published data suggests that the scrapie risk of PRNP genotypes differs between Canada and countries where the VRQ allele is associated with the highest susceptibility to infection.