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Bovine tuberculosis: the genetic basis of host susceptibility

A. R. Allen, G. Minozzi, E. J. Glass, R. A. Skuce, S. W. J. McDowell, J. A. Woolliams and S. C. Bishop
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 277, No. 1695 (22 September 2010), pp. 2737-2745
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27862375
Page Count: 9
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Bovine tuberculosis: the genetic basis of host susceptibility
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Abstract

The prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in the UK remains a significant economic burden and problem for the agri-food industry. Much effort has been directed towards improving diagnostics, finding vaccine candidates and assessing the usefulness of badger culling. The contribution that host genotype makes to disease outcome has, until recently, been overlooked; yet, it is biologically untenable that genetic variation does not play a role. In this review, we highlight the evidence, past and present, for a role of host genetics in determining susceptibility to BTB in livestock. We then address some of the major issues surrounding the design of future studies tasked with finding the exact causative genetic variation underpinning the TB susceptibility phenotype. Finally, we discuss some of the potential future benefits, and problems, that a knowledge of the genetic component to BTB resistance/susceptibility may bring to the agricultural industries and the wider scientific community.

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