Chronic wasting disease associated with prion protein gene (PRNP) variation in Norwegian wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPrion. 2020, 14 (1), . 10.1080/19336896.2019.1702446
The emergence of CWD in Europe in 2016 and the first natural infection in wild reindeer warranted disease management. This led to the testing of 2424 hunted or culled reindeer during 2016–2018, from the infected subpopulation in the Nordfjella mountain range in Southern Norway. To identify any association between PRNP variation and CWD susceptibility, we characterized the open reading frame of the PRNP gene in 19 CWD positive reindeer and in 101 age category- and sex-matched CWD negative controls. Seven variant positions were identified: 6 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and a 24 base pair (bp) deletion located between nucleotide position 238 and 272, encoding four instead of five octapeptide repeats. With a single exception, all variant positions but one were predicted to be non-synonymous. The synonymous SNV and the deletion are novel in reindeer. Various combinations of the non-synonymous variant positions resulted in the identification of five PRNP alleles (A-E) that structured into 14 genotypes. We identified an increased CWD risk in reindeer carrying two copies of the most common allele, A, coding for serine in position 225 (Ser225) and in those carrying allele A together with the 24 bp deletion.