Prion sequence polymorphisms and chronic wasting disease resistance in Illinois white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Amy C. Kelly, Nohra E. Mateus-Pinilla, Jay Diffendorfer, Emily Jewell, Marilyn O. Ruiz, John Killefer, Paul Shelton, Tom Beissel, Jan Novakofski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nucleic acid sequences of the prion gene (PRNP) were examined and genotypes compiled for 76 white-tailed deer from northern Illinois, which previously tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), and 120 negative animals selected to control for geographic location and age. Nine nucleotide polymorphisms, seven silent and two coding, were found in the sampled population. All observed polymorphisms except two of very low frequency were observed in both negative and positive animals, although five polymorphic loci had significantly different distributions of alleles between infected and non-infected individuals. Nucleotide base changes 60C/T, 285A/C, 286G/A and 555C/T were observed with higher than expected frequencies in CWD negative animals suggesting disease resistance, while 153C/T was observed more than expected in positive animals, suggesting susceptibility. The two coding polymorphisms, 285A/C (Q95H) and 286G/A (G96S), have been described in white-tailed deer populations sampled in Colorado and Wisconsin. Frequency distributions of coding polymorphisms in Wisconsin and Illinois deer populations were different, an unexpected result considering the sampled areas are less than 150 km apart. The total number of polymorphisms per animal, silent or coding, was negatively correlated to disease status. The potential importance of silent polymorphisms (60C/T, 153C/T, 555C/T), either individually or cumulatively, in CWD disease status has not been previously reported.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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