Experimental Oral Transmission of Atypical Scrapie to Sheep
Marion M. Simmons, S. Jo Moore,1 Timm Konold, Lisa Thurston, Linda A. Terry, Leigh Thorne, Richard Lockey, Chris Vickery, Stephen A.C. Hawkins, Melanie J. Chaplin, and John Spiropoulos –Weybridge, Addlestone, UK
Suggested citation for this article
Abstract To investigate the possibility of oral transmission of atypical scrapie in sheep and determine the distribution of infectivity in the animals' peripheral tissues, we challenged neonatal lambs orally with atypical scrapie; they were then killed at 12 or 24 months. Screening test results were negative for disease-specific prion protein in all but 2 recipients; they had positive results for examination of brain, but negative for peripheral tissues. Infectivity of brain, distal ileum, and spleen from all animals was assessed in mouse bioassays; positive results were obtained from tissues that had negative results on screening. These findings demonstrate that atypical scrapie can be transmitted orally and indicate that it has the potential for natural transmission and iatrogenic spread through animal feed. Detection of infectivity in tissues negative by current surveillance methods indicates that diagnostic sensitivity is suboptimal for atypical scrapie, and potentially infectious material may be able to pass into the human food chain.
Discussion This study is still ongoing and will not be completed until 2012. However, the current interim report documents the successful oral transmission of atypical scrapie, confirms that the disease phenotype is retained following transmission by this route in AHQ/AHQ sheep, and indicates that infectivity can be demonstrated in the gut in the absence of detectable PrPSc at least as early as 12 months after exposure.
One sheep (animal 12) culled at 24 months post inoculation displayed abnormalities in behavior and movement suggestive of atypical scrapie. Signs like ataxia with head tremor and circling have been described in experimental (19) and natural (3,30) disease, which was attributed to lesions in the cerebellum and forebrain, respectively, corresponding with PrPSc accumulation in these areas (20,24).
By contrast, animal 11, which had confirmed atypical scrapie based on postmortem tests, was considered clinically normal. The less severe and limited PrPSc accumulation in the brain of this sheep than in animal 12 may explain the absence of clinical abnormalities, which is supported by our findings in goats with scrapie in which more extensive PrPSc accumulation in the brain was usually associated with a more severe clinical disease (25).
Although all TSEs are transmissible after intracerebral challenge to a susceptible host, only some are infectious under natural conditions. Therefore, it was important from a pathogenesis and disease control perspective to establish whether or not oral transmission can be successful. However, the challenge model in this study exposed animals as neonates, when the esophageal groove is operational and the lambs are physiologically monogastric. Exposure of 3-month-old ruminating animals to similar amounts of positive brain by the oral route have so far not resulted in any clinical disease, with all animals still alive >1,500 days post challenge (M.M. Simmons, unpub. data), but most natural cases have been recorded in animals older than this, so these animals may still progress to disease in the next few years. Since this challenge study in older animals has no time-kill component, and no losses caused by unrelated disease have occurred, whether any of these sheep are in a preclinical phase of disease is unknown. Unfortunately, the absence of detectable PrPSc in lymphoreticular tissues of sheep with atypical scrapie precludes the use of biopsies to ascertain early infection in these animals.
Transmission may be more efficient in newborn animals; the incubation periods of sheep orally infected with classical scrapie were significantly shorter in sheep challenged at 14 days of age than those challenged at 6 months of age (31). If, however, oral transmission is only effective in such young animals, then field exposure would most likely have to be through milk, which is known to be a highly effective route of transmission for classical scrapie (32). No data are currently available on the potential infectivity of milk from animals with atypical scrapie.
Successful oral transmission also raises questions regarding the pathogenesis of this form of disease. There must be passage of the infectious agent from the alimentary canal to the brain through one of several possible routes, most likely those that have been suggested and discussed in detail for other TSEs, for example, retrograde neuronal transportation either directly (33–35) or through lymphoid structures or hematogenously (36). Infectivity in the absence of readily demonstrable PrPSc has been reported (37–39), and although the mouse bioassay may detect evidence of disease in other tissues, these data may not be available for at least another 2 years. More protease-sensitive forms of PrPSc may be broken down more efficiently within cells and thus do not accumulate in peripheral tissues (19), enabling atypical PrPSc to transit the digestive tract and disseminate through other systems in small amounts before accumulating detectably in the central nervous system.
Although we do not have epidemiologic evidence that supports the efficient spread of disease in the field, these data imply that disease is potentially transmissible under field situations and that spread through animal feed may be possible if the current feed restrictions were to be relaxed. Additionally, almost no data are available on the potential for atypical scrapie to transmit to other food animal species, certainly by the oral route. However, work with transgenic mice has demonstrated the potential susceptibility of pigs, with the disturbing finding that the biochemical properties of the resulting PrPSc have changed on transmission (40). The implications of this observation for subsequent transmission and host target range are currently unknown.
How reassuring is this absence of detectable PrPSc from a public health perspective? The bioassays performed in this study are not titrations, so the infectious load of the positive gut tissues cannot be quantified, although infectivity has been shown unequivocally. No experimental data are currently available on the zoonotic potential of atypical scrapie, either through experimental challenge of humanized mice or any meaningful epidemiologic correlation with human forms of TSE. However, the detection of infectivity in the distal ileum of animals as young as 12 months, in which all the tissues tested were negative for PrPSc by the currently available screening and confirmatory diagnostic tests, indicates that the diagnostic sensitivity of current surveillance methods is suboptimal for detecting atypical scrapie and that potentially infectious material may be able to pass into the human food chain undetected.
Increased Atypical Scrapie Detections
Press reports indicate that increased surveillance is catching what otherwise would have been unreported findings of atypical scrapie in sheep. In 2009, five new cases have been reported in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. With the exception of Quebec, all cases have been diagnosed as being the atypical form found in older animals. Canada encourages producers to join its voluntary surveillance program in order to gain scrapie-free status. The World Animal Health will not classify Canada as scrapie-free until no new cases are reported for seven years. The Canadian Sheep Federation is calling on the government to fund a wider surveillance program in order to establish the level of prevalence prior to setting an eradication date. Besides long-term testing, industry is calling for a compensation program for farmers who report unusual deaths in their flocks.
SCRAPIE USA UPDATE FEBRUARY 2011
Positive Scrapie Cases
As of February 28, 2011, 11 cases of classical scrapie and 1 case of Nor98-like scrapie were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL); 6 of the positive cases were Regulatory Scrapie Slaughter Surveillance (RSSS) cases (collected between October 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011 and confirmed by March 10, 2011), and 6 were field cases including 1 positive goat (Figure 7). With this positive, 22 cases of scrapie in goats have been confirmed by NVSL since implementation of the regulatory changes in FY 2002 (Figure 8).
p.s. please note another new case of the atypical Nor-98 Scrapie in the USA, this time in California. ...TSS
National Scrapie Surveillance Plan United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health National Surveillance Unit Fort Collins, CO September 2010
it is believed that eradication of nonclassical scrapie from the United States is neither necessary nor feasible.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sheep and Goat BSE Propagate More Efficiently than Cattle BSE in Human PrP Transgenic Mice
On the other hand, this component would not be distinguishable from bovine-passaged BSE prions due to the current limits of the standard biological methods and/or the molecular tools employed here to characterize prion strains. Whatever the mechanism, the notion that a passage through an intermediate species can profoundly alter prion virulence for the human species has important public-health issues, regarding emerging and/or expanding TSEs, like atypical scrapie or CWD.
Taken all together, our results suggest that the possibility of a small ruminant BSE prion as vCJD causal agent could not be ruled out, which has important implications on public and animal health policies. On one hand, although the exact magnitude and characteristic of the vCJD epidemic is still unclear, its link with cattle BSE is supported by strong epidemiological ground and several experimental data. On the other hand, the molecular typing performed in our studies, indicates that the biochemical characteristics of the PrPres detected in brains of our sheep and goat BSE-inoculated mice seem to be indistinguishable from that observed in vCJD. Considering the similarity in clinical manifestation of BSE- and scrapie-affected sheep , a masker effect of scrapie over BSE, as well as a potential adaptation of the BSE agent through subsequent passages, could not be ruled out. As BSE infected sheep PrPSc have been detected in many peripheral organs, small ruminant-passaged BSE prions might be a more widespread source of BSE infectivity compared to cattle , , . This fact is even more worrying since our transmission studies suggest that apparently Met129 human PrP favours a BSE agent with ovine rather than a bovine sequence. Finally, it is evident that, although few natural cases have been described and so far we cannot draw any definitive conclusion about the origin of vCJD, we can not underestimate the risk of a potential goat and/or sheep BSE agent.
Prion strains may vary in their ability to transmit to humans and animals. Few experimental studies have been done to provide evidence of differences between U.S. strains of scrapie, which can be distinguished by incubation times in inbred mice, microscopic lesions, immunoreactivity to various antibodies, or molecular profile (electrophoretic mobility and glycoform ratio). Recent work on two U.S. isolates of sheep scrapie supports that at least two distinct strains exist based on differences in incubation time and genotype of sheep affected. One isolate (No. 13-7) inoculated intracerebrally caused scrapie in sheep AA at codon 136 (AA136) and QQ at codon 171 (QQ171) of the prion protein in an average of 19 months post-inoculation (PI) whereas a second isolate (No. x124) caused disease in less than 12 months after oral inoculation in AV136/QQ171 sheep. Striking differences were evident when further strain analysis was done in R111, VM, C57Bl6, and C57Bl6xVM (F1) mice. No. 13-7 did not induce disease in any mouse strain at any time post-inoculation (PI) nor were brain tissues positive by western blot (WB). Positive WB results were obtained from mice inoculated with isolate No. x124 starting at day 380 PI. Incubation times averaged 508, 559, 601, and 633 days PI for RIII, C57Bl6, VM, and F1 mice, respectively. Further passage will be required to characterize these scrapie strains in mice. This work provides evidence that multiple scrapie strains exist in U.S. sheep.
One of these isolates (TR316211) behaved like the CH1641 isolate, with PrPres features in mice similar to those in the sheep brain. From two other isolates (O100 and O104), two distinct PrPres phenotypes were identified in mouse brains, with either high (h-type) or low (l-type) apparent molecular masses of unglycosylated PrPres, the latter being similar to that observed with CH1641, TR316211, or BSE. Both phenotypes could be found in variable proportions in the brains of the individual mice. In contrast with BSE, l-type PrPres from "CH1641-like" isolates showed lower levels of diglycosylated PrPres. From one of these cases (O104), a second passage in mice was performed for two mice with distinct PrPres profiles. This showed a partial selection of the l-type phenotype in mice infected with a mouse brain with predominant l-type PrPres, and it was accompanied by a significant increase in the proportions of the diglycosylated band. These results are discussed in relation to the diversity of scrapie and BSE strains.
In the US, scrapie is reported primarily in sheep homozygous for 136A/171Q (AAQQ) and the disease phenotype is similar to that seen with experimental strain CH1641.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
IN CONFIDENCE SCRAPIE TRANSMISSION TO CHIMPANZEES
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 IN CONFIDENCE SCRAPIE TRANSMISSION TO CHIMPANZEES
TRANSMISSION TO CHIMPANZEES
1. Kuru and CJD have been successfully transmitted to chimpanzees but scrapie and TME have not.
2. We cannot say that scrapie will not transmit to chimpanzees. There are several scrapie strains and I am not aware that all have been tried (that would have to be from mouse passaged material). Nor has a wide enough range of field isolates subsequently strain typed in mice been inoculated by the appropriate routes (i/c, ilp and i/v) :
3. I believe the proposed experiment to determine transmissibility, if conducted, would only show the susceptibility or resistance of the chimpanzee to infection/disease by the routes used and the result could not be interpreted for the predictability of the susceptibility for man. Proposals for prolonged oral exposure of chimpanzees to milk from cattle were suggested a long while ago and rejected.
4. In view of Dr Gibbs' probable use of chimpazees Mr Wells' comments (enclosed) are pertinent. I have yet to receive a direct communication from Dr Schellekers but before any collaboration or provision of material we should identify the Gibbs' proposals and objectives.
5. A positive result from a chimpanzee challenged severely would likely create alarm in some circles even if the result could not be interpreted for man. I have a view that all these agents could be transmitted provided a large enough dose by appropriate routes was given and the animals kept long enough. Until the mechanisms of the species barrier are more clearly understood it might be best to retain that hypothesis.
6. A negative result would take a lifetime to determine but that would be a shorter period than might be available for human exposure and it would still not answer the question regarding mans' susceptibility. In the meantime no doubt the negativity would be used defensively. It would however be counterproductive if the experiment finally became positive. We may learn more about public reactions following next Monday' s meeting.
23 September 1990
CVO (+Mr Wells' comments)
Dr T W A Little
Dr B J Shreeve
IN CONFIDENCE CHIMPANZEES
CODE 18-77 Reference RB3.46
Some further information that may assist in decision making has been gained by discussion with Dr Rosalind Ridley.
She says that careful study of Gajdusek's work shows no increased susceptibility of chimpanzees over New World Monkeys such as Squirrel Monkeys. She does not think it would tell you anything about the susceptibility to man. Also Gajdusek did not, she believes, challenge chimpanzees with scrapie as severely as we did pigs and we know little of that source of scrapie. Comparisons would be difficult. She also would not expect the Home Office to sanction such experiments here unless there was a very clear and important objective that would be important for human health protection. She doubted such a case could be made. If this is the case she thought it would be unethical to do an experiment abroad because we could not do it in our own country.
Retrospectively she feels they should have put up more marmosets than they did. They all remain healthy. They would normally regard the transmission as negative if no disease resulted in five years.
We are not being asked for a decision but I think that before we made one we should gain as much knowledge as we can. If we decided to proceed we would have to bear any criticisms for many years if there was an adverse view by scientists ormedia. This should not be undertaken lightly. There is already some adverse comment here, I gather, on the pig experiment though that will subside.
The Gibbs' (as' distinct from Schellekers') study is somewhat different. We are merely supplying material for comparative studies in a laboratory with the greatest experience of human SEs in the world and it has been sanctioned by USDA (though we do not know for certain yet if chimpanzees specifically will be used). This would keep it at a lower profile than if we conducted such an experiment in the UK or Europe.
I consider we must have very powerful and defendable objectives to go beyond Gibbs' proposed experiments and should not initiate others just because an offer has been made.
Scientists have a responsibility to seek other methods of investigative research other than animal experimentation. At present no objective has convinced me we need to do research using Chimpanzees - a species in need of protection. Resisting such proposals would enable us to communicate that information to the scientist and the public should the need arise. A line would have been drawn.
CVO cc Dr T Dr B W A Little Dr B J Shreeve
26 September 1990
SNIP...SEE FULL TEXT ;
Friday, February 11, 2011
Atypical/Nor98 Scrapie Infectivity in Sheep Peripheral Tissues
The presence of infectivity in peripheral tissues that enter the food chain clearly indicates that the risk of dietary exposure to Atypical/Nor98 scrapie cannot be disregarded. However, according to our observations, in comparison to the brain, the infectious titres in the peripheral tissues were five log10 lower in Atypical/Nor98 scrapie than in classical scrapie. Therefore, the reduction of the relative exposure risk following SRM removal (CNS, head, spleen and ileum) is probably significantly higher in Atypical/Nor98 scrapie cases than in classical scrapie cases. However, considering the currently estimated prevalence of Atypical/Nor98 scrapie in healthy slaughtered EU population , it is probable that atypical scrapie infectivity enters in the food chain despite the prevention measures in force.
Finally, the capacity of Atypical/Nor98 scrapie agent (and more generally of small ruminants TSE agents) to cross species barrier that naturally limits the transmission risk is insufficiently documented. Recently, the transmission of an Atypical/Nor98 scrapie isolate was reported into transgenic mice over-expressing the porcine PrP . Such results cannot directly be extrapolated to natural exposure conditions and natural hosts. However, they underline the urgent need for further investigations on the potential capacity of Atypical/Nor98 scrapie to propagate in other species than small ruminants.
snip...please see full text thanks to the Authors and plospathogens.org/
Background ----------- "Retrospective studies have identified cases predating the initial identification of this form of scrapie, and epidemiological studies have indicated that it does not conform to the behaviour of an infectious disease, giving rise to the hypothesis that it represents spontaneous disease. However, atypical scrapie isolates have been shown to be infectious experimentally, through intracerebral inoculation in transgenic mice and sheep. [Many of the neurological diseases can be transmitted by intracerebral inoculation, which causes this moderator to approach intracerebral studies as a tool for study, but not necessarily as a direct indication of transmissibility of natural diseases. - Mod.TG]
"The 1st successful challenge of a sheep with 'field' atypical scrapie from an homologous donor sheep was reported in 2007.
"Results -------- "This study demonstrates that atypical scrapie has distinct clinical, pathological, and biochemical characteristics which are maintained on transmission and sub-passage, and which are distinct from other strains of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in the same host genotype.
"Conclusions ------------ Atypical scrapie is consistently transmissible within AHQ homozygous sheep, and the disease phenotype is preserved on sub-passage."
Lastly, this moderator wishes to thank Terry Singletary for some of his behind the scenes work of providing citations and references for this posting. - Mod.TG]
The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Australia is available at
The two Commissions discussed the issue of ‘atypical’ scrapie in terms of notification requirements and the issue of the host genetic resistance. In response to questions of Members, the Code Commission clarified that ‘classical’ scrapie is reportable to the OIE but that ‘atypical’ scrapie is not reportable (in accordance with the recommendations made by the ad hoc Group on Atypical Scrapie and Atypical BSE, which met in November 2007). However, the sharing of scientific information on ‘atypical’ scrapie is encouraged. At this time, the Code Commission considered that more scientific information would be needed to fully address the issues associated with host genotype.
OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission / September 2010
The EU takes note of the fact that atypical scrapie is not an OIE listed disease. Nevertheless, it will remain notifiable in the EU. Moreover it must be stressed that any emergence of this disease should be notified to the OIE by Members and that scientific data should continue to be gathered.
Has transmission to humans been proven? (with the exception of artificial
Is human infection associated with severe consequences? (death or prolonged illness)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
EFSA reviews BSE/TSE infectivity in small ruminant tissues News Story 2 December 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Atypical transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in ruminants: a challenge for disease surveillance and control
Sunday, April 18, 2010
SCRAPIE AND ATYPICAL SCRAPIE TRANSMISSION STUDIES A REVIEW 2010
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
EFSA and ECDC review scientific evidence on possible links between TSEs in animals and humans Webnachricht 19 Januar 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Agent strain variation in human prion disease: insights from a molecular and pathological review of the National Institutes of Health series of experimentally transmitted disease
EVIDENCE OF SCRAPIE IN SHEEP AS A RESULT OF FOOD BORNE EXPOSURE
This is provided by the statistically significant increase in the incidence of sheep scrape from 1985, as determined from analyses of the submissions made to VI Centres, and from individual case and flock incident studies. ........
RISK OF BSE TO SHEEP VIA FEED
Marion Simmons communicated surprising evidence for oral transmissibility of Nor98/atypical scrapie in neonatal sheep and although bioassay is ongoing, infectivity of the distal ileum of 12 and 24 month infected sheep is positive in Tg338 mice.
SUMMARY REPORTS OF MAFF BSE TRANSMISSION STUDIES AT THE CVL ;
THE RISK TO HUMANS FROM SHEEP;
EXPERIMENTAL TRANSMISSION OF BSE TO SHEEP
SHEEP AND BSE
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
SHEEP AND BSE
A. The experimental transmission of BSE to sheep.
Studies have shown that the ''negative'' line NPU flock of Cheviots can be experimentally infected with BSE by intracerebral (ic) or oral challenge (the latter being equivalent to 0.5 gram of a pool of four cow brains from animals confirmed to have BSE).
BSE - TRANSMISSION STUDIES
1: J Infect Dis 1980 Aug;142(2):205-8
Oral transmission of kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and scrapie to nonhuman primates.
Gibbs CJ Jr, Amyx HL, Bacote A, Masters CL, Gajdusek DC.
Kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and scrapie disease of sheep and goats were transmitted to squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) that were exposed to the infectious agents only by their nonforced consumption of known infectious tissues. The asymptomatic incubation period in the one monkey exposed to the virus of kuru was 36 months; that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was 23 and 27 months, respectively; and that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of scrapie was 25 and 32 months, respectively. Careful physical examination of the buccal cavities of all of the monkeys failed to reveal signs or oral lesions. One additional monkey similarly exposed to kuru has remained asymptomatic during the 39 months that it has been under observation.
The successful transmission of kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and scrapie by natural feeding to squirrel monkeys that we have reported provides further grounds for concern that scrapie-infected meat may occasionally give rise in humans to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
12/10/76 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL REPORT OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTE ON SCRAPIE Office Note CHAIRMAN: PROFESSOR PETER WILDY
A The Present Position with respect to Scrapie A] The Problem Scrapie is a natural disease of sheep and goats. It is a slow and inexorably progressive degenerative disorder of the nervous system and it ia fatal. It is enzootic in the United Kingdom but not in all countries. The field problem has been reviewed by a MAFF working group (ARC 35/77). It is difficult to assess the incidence in Britain for a variety of reasons but the disease causes serious financial loss; it is estimated that it cost Swaledale breeders alone $l.7 M during the five years 1971-1975. A further inestimable loss arises from the closure of certain export markets, in particular those of the United States, to British sheep. It is clear that scrapie in sheep is important commercially and for that reason alone effective measures to control it should be devised as quickly as possible. Recently the question has again been brought up as to whether scrapie is transmissible to man. This has followed reports that the disease has been transmitted to primates.
One particularly lurid speculation (Gajdusek 1977) conjectures that the agents of scrapie, kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and transmissible encephalopathy of mink are varieties of a single "virus". The U.S. Department of Agriculture concluded that it could "no longer justify or permit scrapie-blood line and scrapie-exposed sheep and goats to be processed for human or animal food at slaughter or rendering plants" (ARC 84/77)" The problem is emphasised by the finding that some strains of scrapie produce lesions identical to the once which characterise the human dementias" Whether true or not. the hypothesis that these agents might be transmissible to man raises two considerations. First, the safety of laboratory personnel requires prompt attention. Second, action such as the "scorched meat" policy of USDA makes the solution of the acrapie problem urgent if the sheep industry is not to suffer grievously.
Nature. 1972 Mar 10;236(5341):73-4.
Transmission of scrapie to the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis).
Gibbs CJ Jr, Gajdusek DC. Nature 236, 73 - 74 (10 March 1972); doi:10.1038/236073a0
Transmission of Scrapie to the Cynomolgus Monkey (Macaca fascicularis)
C. J. GIBBS jun. & D. C. GAJDUSEK National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
SCRAPIE has been transmitted to the cynomolgus, or crab-eating, monkey (Macaca fascicularis) with an incubation period of more than 5 yr from the time of intracerebral inoculation of scrapie-infected mouse brain. The animal developed a chronic central nervous system degeneration, with ataxia, tremor and myoclonus with associated severe scrapie-like pathology of intensive astroglial hypertrophy and proliferation, neuronal vacuolation and status spongiosus of grey matter. The strain of scrapie virus used was the eighth passage in Swiss mice (NIH) of a Compton strain of scrapie obtained as ninth intracerebral passage of the agent in goat brain, from Dr R. L. Chandler (ARC, Compton, Berkshire).
Epidemiology of Scrapie in the United States 1977
What if you can catch old-fashioned CJD by eating meat from a sheep infected with scrapie?
28 Mar 01
Like lambs to the slaughter 31 March 2001 by Debora MacKenzie Magazine issue 2284. Subscribe and get 4 free issues. FOUR years ago, Terry Singeltary watched his mother die horribly from a degenerative brain disease. Doctors told him it was Alzheimer's, but Singeltary was suspicious. The diagnosis didn't fit her violent symptoms, and he demanded an autopsy. It showed she had died of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Most doctors believe that sCJD is caused by a prion protein deforming by chance into a killer. But Singeltary thinks otherwise. He is one of a number of campaigners who say that some sCJD, like the variant CJD related to BSE, is caused by eating meat from infected animals. Their suspicions have focused on sheep carrying scrapie, a BSE-like disease that is widespread in flocks across Europe and North America.
Now scientists in France have stumbled across new evidence that adds weight to the campaigners' fears. To their complete surprise, the researchers found that one strain of scrapie causes the same brain damage in mice as sCJD.
"This means we cannot rule out that at least some sCJD may be caused by some strains of scrapie," says team member Jean-Philippe Deslys of the French Atomic Energy Commission's medical research laboratory in Fontenay-aux-Roses, south-west of Paris. Hans Kretschmar of the University of Göttingen, who coordinates CJD surveillance in Germany, is so concerned by the findings that he now wants to trawl back through past sCJD cases to see if any might have been caused by eating infected mutton or lamb.
Scrapie has been around for centuries and until now there has been no evidence that it poses a risk to human health. But if the French finding means that scrapie can cause sCJD in people, countries around the world may have overlooked a CJD crisis to rival that caused by BSE.
Deslys and colleagues were originally studying vCJD, not sCJD. They injected the brains of macaque monkeys with brain from BSE cattle, and from French and British vCJD patients. The brain damage and clinical symptoms in the monkeys were the same for all three. Mice injected with the original sets of brain tissue or with infected monkey brain also developed the same symptoms.
As a control experiment, the team also injected mice with brain tissue from people and animals with other prion diseases: a French case of sCJD; a French patient who caught sCJD from human-derived growth hormone; sheep with a French strain of scrapie; and mice carrying a prion derived from an American scrapie strain. As expected, they all affected the brain in a different way from BSE and vCJD. But while the American strain of scrapie caused different damage from sCJD, the French strain produced exactly the same pathology.
"The main evidence that scrapie does not affect humans has been epidemiology," says Moira Bruce of the neuropathogenesis unit of the Institute for Animal Health in Edinburgh, who was a member of the same team as Deslys. "You see about the same incidence of the disease everywhere, whether or not there are many sheep, and in countries such as New Zealand with no scrapie." In the only previous comparisons of sCJD and scrapie in mice, Bruce found they were dissimilar.
But there are more than 20 strains of scrapie, and six of sCJD. "You would not necessarily see a relationship between the two with epidemiology if only some strains affect only some people," says Deslys. Bruce is cautious about the mouse results, but agrees they require further investigation. Other trials of scrapie and sCJD in mice, she says, are in progress.
People can have three different genetic variations of the human prion protein, and each type of protein can fold up two different ways. Kretschmar has found that these six combinations correspond to six clinical types of sCJD: each type of normal prion produces a particular pathology when it spontaneously deforms to produce sCJD.
But if these proteins deform because of infection with a disease-causing prion, the relationship between pathology and prion type should be different, as it is in vCJD. "If we look at brain samples from sporadic CJD cases and find some that do not fit the pattern," says Kretschmar, "that could mean they were caused by infection."
There are 250 deaths per year from sCJD in the US, and a similar incidence elsewhere. Singeltary and other US activists think that some of these people died after eating contaminated meat or "nutritional" pills containing dried animal brain. Governments will have a hard time facing activists like Singeltary if it turns out that some sCJD isn't as spontaneous as doctors have insisted.
Deslys's work on macaques also provides further proof that the human disease vCJD is caused by BSE. And the experiments showed that vCJD is much more virulent to primates than BSE, even when injected into the bloodstream rather than the brain. This, says Deslys, means that there is an even bigger risk than we thought that vCJD can be passed from one patient to another through contaminated blood transfusions and surgical instruments.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Similarities between Forms of Sheep Scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Are Encoded by Distinct Prion Types
(hmmm, this is getting interesting now...TSS)
Sporadic CJD type 1 and atypical/ Nor98 scrapie are characterized by fine (reticular) deposits,
see also ;
All of the Heidenhain variants were of the methionine/ methionine type 1 molecular subtype.
see full text ;
Monday, December 14, 2009
Similarities between Forms of Sheep Scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Are Encoded by Distinct Prion Types
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Nor98-like Scrapie in the United States of America
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
NOR-98 ATYPICAL SCRAPIE USA 4 CASES DETECTED JANUARY 2010
Aspects of the Cerebellar Neuropathology in Nor98
Gavier-Widén, D1; Benestad, SL2; Ottander, L1; Westergren, E1 1National Veterinary Insitute, Sweden; 2National Veterinary Institute,
Norway Nor98 is a prion disease of old sheep and goats. This atypical form of scrapie was first described in Norway in 1998. Several features of Nor98 were shown to be different from classical scrapie including the distribution of disease associated prion protein (PrPd) accumulation in the brain. The cerebellum is generally the most affected brain area in Nor98. The study here presented aimed at adding information on the neuropathology in the cerebellum of Nor98 naturally affected sheep of various genotypes in Sweden and Norway. A panel of histochemical and immunohistochemical (IHC) stainings such as IHC for PrPd, synaptophysin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, amyloid, and cell markers for phagocytic cells were conducted. The type of histological lesions and tissue reactions were evaluated. The types of PrPd deposition were characterized. The cerebellar cortex was regularly affected, even though there was a variation in the severity of the lesions from case to case. Neuropil vacuolation was more marked in the molecular layer, but affected also the granular cell layer. There was a loss of granule cells. Punctate deposition of PrPd was characteristic. It was morphologically and in distribution identical with that of synaptophysin, suggesting that PrPd accumulates in the synaptic structures. PrPd was also observed in the granule cell layer and in the white matter. The pathology features of Nor98 in the cerebellum of the affected sheep showed similarities with those of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
***The pathology features of Nor98 in the cerebellum of the affected sheep showed similarities with those of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
NOR98 SHOWS MOLECULAR FEATURES REMINISCENT OF GSS
R. Nonno1, E. Esposito1, G. Vaccari1, E. Bandino2, M. Conte1, B. Chiappini1, S. Marcon1, M. Di Bari1, S.L. Benestad3, U. Agrimi1 1 Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Department of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, Rome, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org); 2 Istituto Zooprofilattico della Sardegna, Sassari, Italy; 3 National Veterinary Institute, Department of Pathology, Oslo, Norway
Molecular variants of PrPSc are being increasingly investigated in sheep scrapie and are generally referred to as "atypical" scrapie, as opposed to "classical scrapie". Among the atypical group, Nor98 seems to be the best identified. We studied the molecular properties of Italian and Norwegian Nor98 samples by WB analysis of brain homogenates, either untreated, digested with different concentrations of proteinase K, or subjected to enzymatic deglycosylation. The identity of PrP fragments was inferred by means of antibodies spanning the full PrP sequence. We found that undigested brain homogenates contain a Nor98-specific PrP fragment migrating at 11 kDa (PrP11), truncated at both the C-terminus and the N-terminus, and not N-glycosylated. After mild PK digestion, Nor98 displayed full-length PrP (FL-PrP) and N-glycosylated C-terminal fragments (CTF), along with increased levels of PrP11. Proteinase K digestion curves (0,006-6,4 mg/ml) showed that FL-PrP and CTF are mainly digested above 0,01 mg/ml, while PrP11 is not entirely digested even at the highest concentrations, similarly to PrP27-30 associated with classical scrapie. Above 0,2 mg/ml PK, most Nor98 samples showed only PrP11 and a fragment of 17 kDa with the same properties of PrP11, that was tentatively identified as a dimer of PrP11. Detergent solubility studies showed that PrP11 is insoluble in 2% sodium laurylsorcosine and is mainly produced from detergentsoluble, full-length PrPSc. Furthermore, among Italian scrapie isolates, we found that a sample with molecular and pathological properties consistent with Nor98 showed plaque-like deposits of PrPSc in the thalamus when the brain was analysed by PrPSc immunohistochemistry. Taken together, our results show that the distinctive pathological feature of Nor98 is a PrP fragment spanning amino acids ~ 90-155. This fragment is produced by successive N-terminal and C-terminal cleavages from a full-length and largely detergent-soluble PrPSc, is produced in vivo and is extremely resistant to PK digestion.
*** Intriguingly, these conclusions suggest that some pathological features of Nor98 are reminiscent of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease.
A newly identified type of scrapie agent can naturally infect sheep with resistant PrP genotypes
Annick Le Dur*,?, Vincent Béringue*,?, Olivier Andréoletti?, Fabienne Reine*, Thanh Lan Laï*, Thierry Baron§, Bjørn Bratberg¶, Jean-Luc Vilotte?, Pierre Sarradin**, Sylvie L. Benestad¶, and Hubert Laude*,? +Author Affiliations
*Virologie Immunologie Moléculaires and ?Génétique Biochimique et Cytogénétique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France; ?Unité Mixte de Recherche, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique-Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Interactions Hôte Agent Pathogène, 31066 Toulouse, France; §Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Unité Agents Transmissibles Non Conventionnels, 69364 Lyon, France; **Pathologie Infectieuse et Immunologie, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 37380 Nouzilly, France; and ¶Department of Pathology, National Veterinary Institute, 0033 Oslo, Norway
***Edited by Stanley B. Prusiner, University of California, San Francisco, CA (received for review March 21, 2005)
Abstract Scrapie in small ruminants belongs to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, a family of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals and can transmit within and between species by ingestion or inoculation. Conversion of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP), normal cellular PrP (PrPc), into a misfolded form, abnormal PrP (PrPSc), plays a key role in TSE transmission and pathogenesis. The intensified surveillance of scrapie in the European Union, together with the improvement of PrPSc detection techniques, has led to the discovery of a growing number of so-called atypical scrapie cases. These include clinical Nor98 cases first identified in Norwegian sheep on the basis of unusual pathological and PrPSc molecular features and "cases" that produced discordant responses in the rapid tests currently applied to the large-scale random screening of slaughtered or fallen animals. Worryingly, a substantial proportion of such cases involved sheep with PrP genotypes known until now to confer natural resistance to conventional scrapie. Here we report that both Nor98 and discordant cases, including three sheep homozygous for the resistant PrPARR allele (A136R154R171), efficiently transmitted the disease to transgenic mice expressing ovine PrP, and that they shared unique biological and biochemical features upon propagation in mice. *** These observations support the view that a truly infectious TSE agent, unrecognized until recently, infects sheep and goat flocks and may have important implications in terms of scrapie control and public health.
Monday, December 1, 2008
When Atypical Scrapie cross species barriers
Andreoletti O., Herva M. H., Cassard H., Espinosa J. C., Lacroux C., Simon S., Padilla D., Benestad S. L., Lantier F., Schelcher F., Grassi J., Torres, J. M., UMR INRA ENVT 1225, Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse.France; ICISA-INlA, Madrid, Spain; CEA, IBiTec-5, DSV, CEA/Saclay, Gif sur Yvette cedex, France; National Veterinary Institute, Postboks 750 Sentrum, 0106 Oslo, Norway, INRA IASP, Centre INRA de Tours, 3738O Nouzilly, France.
Atypical scrapie is a TSE occurring in small ruminants and harbouring peculiar clinical, epidemiological and biochemical properties. Currently this form of disease is identified in a large number of countries. In this study we report the transmission of an atypical scrapie isolate through different species barriers as modeled by transgenic mice (Tg) expressing different species PRP sequence.
The donor isolate was collected in 1995 in a French commercial sheep flock. inoculation into AHQ/AHQ sheep induced a disease which had all neuro-pathological and biochemical characteristics of atypical scrapie. Transmitted into Transgenic mice expressing either ovine or PrPc, the isolate retained all the described characteristics of atypical scrapie.
Surprisingly the TSE agent characteristics were dramatically different v/hen passaged into Tg bovine mice. The recovered TSE agent had biological and biochemical characteristics similar to those of atypical BSE L in the same mouse model. Moreover, whereas no other TSE agent than BSE were shown to transmit into Tg porcine mice, atypical scrapie was able to develop into this model, albeit with low attack rate on first passage.
Furthermore, after adaptation in the porcine mouse model this prion showed similar biological and biochemical characteristics than BSE adapted to this porcine mouse model. Altogether these data indicate.
(i) the unsuspected potential abilities of atypical scrapie to cross species barriers
(ii) the possible capacity of this agent to acquire new characteristics when crossing species barrier
These findings raise some interrogation on the concept of TSE strain and on the origin of the diversity of the TSE agents and could have consequences on field TSE control measures.
BSE: TIME TO TAKE H.B. PARRY SERIOUSLY
If the scrapie agent is generated from ovine DNA and thence causes disease in other species, then perhaps, bearing in mind the possible role of scrapie in CJD of humans (Davinpour et al, 1985), scrapie and not BSE should be the notifiable disease. ...
Friday, February 04, 2011
NMLB and USDA allow scrapie prion infected mutton to enter food chain on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico
----- Original Message -----
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Cc: sroanhorse ; opvp.nelson ; alaughing; georgehardeen; pressoffice
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 12:15 PM
Subject: NMLB and USDA allow scrapie prion infected mutton to enter food chain on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico
Greetings Honorable People of the Great Navajo Nation, and the Honorable President Ben Shelly,
I send this to you with great concern. ...
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
BSE - ATYPICAL LESION DISTRIBUTION (RBSE 92-21367) statutory (obex only) diagnostic criteria CVL 1992
The statistical incidence of CJD cases in the United States has been revised to reflect that there is one case per 9000 in adults age 55 and older. Eighty-five percent of the cases are sporadic, meaning there is no known cause at present.
USA WRITTEN CJD QUESTIONNAIRE ???
Saturday, March 5, 2011
MAD COW ATYPICAL CJD PRION TSE CASES WITH CLASSIFICATIONS PENDING ON THE RISE IN NORTH AMERICA
PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE, in terms of human health risk $$$
Monday, November 30, 2009
USDA AND OIE COLLABORATE TO EXCLUDE ATYPICAL SCRAPIE NOR-98 ANIMAL HEALTH CODE
Saturday, December 18, 2010
OIE Global Conference on Wildlife Animal Health and Biodiversity - Preparing for the Future (TSE AND PRIONS) Paris (France), 23-25 February 2011
Thank for your support to the OIE objectives for a safe world. <<<
I see again that the OIE has done little to help eradicate all animal TSE from the globe, and in fact in my opinion, have help enhance the spread of BSE and other animal TSE globally by their industry friendly regulations. I tried to warn the OIE in 2002 about CWD and the potential, but very real threat of CWD to humans. I was told that they were seriously considering this. what happened ? NOW, the OIE and the USDA collaborate to make legal the trading of all strains of atypical BSE legal, and in fact have done so with the atypical scrapie, when science has made perfectly clear the risk factors to humans and other species. I have said it once (see below), and i will say again ;
"THE OIE has now shown they are nothing more than a National Trading Brokerage for all strains of animal TSE. AS i said before, OIE should hang up there jock strap now, since it appears they will buckle every time a country makes some political hay about trade protocol, commodities and futures. IF they are not going to be science based, they should do everyone a favor and dissolve there organization."
NOW, some history on the failed OIE BSE/TSE policy, and why the OIE allowed BSE and other TSE to spread around the globe $$$
Sunday, March 27, 2011
SCRAPIE USA UPDATE FEBRUARY 2011