Juling K, Schwarzenbacher H, Williams JL, Fries R.
A major genetic component of BSE susceptibility.
BMC Biol. 2006;4:33.
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Although these data are preliminary, I think they are interesting. They suggest that non-coding variation is associated with risk for contraction of feedborne BSE. I can imagine that suitable control selection in cattle is tough, so this could certainly be a confound.
If correct (and if there is no coding variation in cis with the associated allele), this would presumably have a different mode of action than that associated with risk for CJD, where homozygosity of coding alleles appears to be important.