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  • 1 Department for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science, University of Veterinary Medicine, Istváu. 2, H-1078 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Department of Animal Science, Széenyi Istvá University, Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary
  • 3 Hungarian Sheep and Goat Breeders’ Association, Budapest, Hungary
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The authors studied the present status of Hungarian indigenous sheep breeds based on the genetic background of scrapie resistance. The aim of this investigation was to estimate the relative frequency of prion haplotypes, genotypes and risk categories, as well as to reveal the efficiency of the scrapie eradication programme achieved over the last decade. A novel approach in the characterisation of prion by using its genic variation was also implemented. The authors established that the proportion of deleterious sites (%) can be a useful indicator of the eradication programme. Based on a large sample size, it was confirmed that the scrapie resistance of the Cikta breed is low, and the classification of this breed according to risk category has not improved. However, the frequent genotype ARQ and risk category 3 can also be considered characteristic of the breed. The careful use of these genotypes is permitted and will contribute to the maintenance of breed diversity. The response of prion genic variation to selection for scrapie resistance in the other breeds (Tsigai, Milking Tsigai, White Racka, Black Racka and Gyimes Racka) was definitely successful.

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