Susceptibility of different TMEM154 genotypes in three Italian sheep breeds infected by different SRLV genotypes
Moretti, R.; Sartore, S.; Colitti, B.; Profiti, M.; Chessa, S.; Rosati, S.; Sacchi, P.
Veterinary Research 53(1): 60
Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLV) belong to the Retroviridae family and can cause various diseases. One of the most impacting diseases is visna-maedi, a complex disease characterized by long latencies and chronic progressive inflammatory events affecting the nervous system, lungs, mammary gland, and articular joints. A single nucleotide polymorphism (rs408593969, c.103G>A, missense mutation E35K) in the ovine transmembrane protein gene 154 (TMEM154) was identified as protective against small ruminant lentivirus infection in different herds worldwide. However, there is evidence in the scientific literature of a breed-specificity of this protective effect and, furthermore, there are still limited studies regarding the association between the animal genotype and the infecting virus genotype. Thus, the aim of this study was to further investigate the association between the animal genotype for the suggested protective mutation and the infecting virus genotype, in three different sheep breeds reared in northern Italy. The results obtained only partially confirmed the data available in the literature, as the protective effect was confirmed only for SRLV genotype A clusters, while other genotypes (namely B and E) infected AA and GA animals. Further studies with an experimental infection of specific virus genotypes in hosts with specific genotypes are required to confirm the larger number of cases the results obtained in this study.