We describe analyses of two data sets relating to maternal risk enhancement: data from a seven- year cohort study (Wilesmith et al. 1997, Donnelly et al. 1997a) of the offspring of BSE- affected dams and their matched controls and identification data on the dams of BSE cases born after the introduction of the ruminant feed ban in July 1988 (Donnelly et al. 1997b). Our aim is to characterize the maternal transmission rate (as a function of maternal incubation stage where possible) and genetically variable susceptibility using a range of genetic models including that suggested by the one study to date to find any differences in the PrP gene between BSE- affected and unaffected cows (Neibergs et al. 1994). Results indicate significant heterogeneity in susceptibility to feed infection. 

C. A Donnelly, N. M Ferguson, A. C Ghani, R. M Anderson

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 27: Reproduction; fish breeding; genetics and the environment; genetics in agricultural systems; disease resistance; animal welf, , 311–314, 1998
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