Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Scientific Opinion on genetic TSE resistance in goats in all European Union Member States

Andreoletti, Olivier; Budka, Herbert; Buncic, Sava; Collins, John D; Griffin, John; Hald, Tine; Havelaar, Arie; Hope, James; Klein, Gunter; McLauchlin, James; Messens, Winy; Müller-Graf, Christine; Nguyen-The, Christophe; Nörrung, Birgit; Peixe, Luisa; Prieto, Maradona Miguel; Ricci, Antonia; Sofos, John; Threlfall, John; Vågsholm, Ivar;
Show more authors


This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) assesses the use in goats of breeding for genetic resistance to TSEs as a tool for the control of the different TSEs these ruminants can naturally host (i.e. Classical scrapie, Atypical scrapie and BSE) in all EU Member States (MSs), with the exception of Classical scrapie in Cyprus as this has been addressed in a previous scientific opinion. To carry out this task, currently available scientific knowledge on the subject is reviewed in this opinion, with particular emphasis on the candidate polymorphisms and the different TSE agents considered. Also, a preliminary evaluation of the availability in the EU MSs of those logistical and technical elements needed for a large-scale breeding program is presented based on the replies received to a questionnaire sent to the EFSA BSE-TSE Network. The BIOHAZ panel identified at least three polymorphisms of interest, enabling the conclusion that there are encouraging but as yet incomplete data to consider supporting a breeding programme in goats for genetic resistance to Classical scrapie. Moreover, the effects of these polymorphisms on resistance in goats to Atypical scrapie and BSE are insufficiently known. Furthermore, it seems that (at present) only a few EU MSs have in place the necessary elements to introduce this kind of breeding programme. Further detailed conclusions and recommendations are made, aiming at both addressing particular issues that have to be taken into account in a breeding programme for genetic TSE resistance in goats and on the particular data needs that would increase the confidence in the successful outcome of such breeding programme. Some of the key elements in this respect are the real protection (i.e. either to disease or to infection) provided by the candidate polymorphisms for the different TSEs, possible adverse effects and epidemiological considerations


Goat; TSE; Classical scrapie; Atypical scrapie; BSE; genetic resistance; breeding programme; European Union

Published in

EFSA Journal
2009, Volume: 7, number: 11, article number: 1371
Publisher: European Food Safety Authority, 2009