No one knows, but research was done to answer this question and no link was ever found. Certainly some horses seem to have more problems than others, and there maybe a genetic predisposition to CPL.
From what we have seen the fuller and coarser the hair, the more problems the horse will have. There may be some link involving the ergots. Saddle horses have smooth ergots, draft horses tend to have large, porous ergots. These horses have more problems, but we don’t know if the ergot becomes porous because it is infected, or it becomes infected because it is porous.
We think it’s more likely that the genetic change is in one of the organisms. Skin mites vary in virulence. Many have become resistant to common insecticides, like lice have in humans. Because insects have very short life cycles, we’re betting the change will be found there.