TSEs (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) are fatal, degenerative disorders of the central nervous system. The best-known members of this disease family are sheep scrapie, cattle BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and human CJD (Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease). By far the most important host gene in TSEs is the PrP (prion protein) gene. It modulates TSE susceptibility at many levels and is the crucial element in the treatment and eradication of these diseases. This article will highlight the advances in our understanding of PrP genetics in animals and man.

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