Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy caused by prions and leads to neurodegeneration in the Central Nervous System (CNS) of sheep and goats. Genetic resistance/susceptibility to scrapie is well studied and it is known that the variations of 136th, 154th and 171st codons at the ovine PRNP gene have a major effect on the development of the disease. Many studies demonstrated that selection for PRNP genotypes has not influenced other performance traits, nevertheless, there is a knowledge gap about the possible link between the PRNP gene and the status of the other important diseases that affect the sheep population worldwide. In the present study, we tested whether there is an association between scrapie-related PRNP genotypes and fecal egg count (FEC) of gastrointestinal nematodes in seven adult Turkish sheep breeds. For this purpose, FEC scores of studied sheep (n = 253) were determined and the same animals were genotyped for the PRNP gene. Finally, an association analysis was performed for scrapie resistant (ARR), susceptible (VRQ), and wild-type (ARQ) haplotypes. Based on our statistical analysis, it is concluded that PRNP genotypes have no positive or negative effect on the FEC scores of adult sheep.
Keywords: PRNP gene; Scrapie; Turkish native sheep; fecal egg count; genetic resistance.