Section 19
Chapter 18,897

Experimental transmission of scrapie agent to susceptible sheep by intralingual or intracerebral inoculation

Hamir, A.N.; Kunkle, R.A.; Bulgin, M.S.; Rohwer, R.G.; Gregori, L.; Richt, J.A.

Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 72(1): 63-67


ISSN/ISBN: 0830-9000
PMID: 18214164
Accession: 018896153

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Scrapie, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), is a naturally occurring fatal neurodegenerative disease of sheep and goats. This study documents survival periods, pathological findings, and the presence of abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in genetically susceptible sheep inoculated with scrapie agent. Suffolk lambs (AA/RR/QQ at codons 136, 154, and 171, respectively) aged 4 mo were injected by the intralingual (IL) or intracerebral (IC) route with an inoculum prepared from a pool of scrapie-affected US sheep brains. The animals were euthanized when advanced clinical signs of scrapie were observed. Spongiform lesions in the brain and PrPsc deposits in the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoid tissues were detected by immunohistochemical and Western blot (WB) testing in all the sheep with clinical prion disease. The mean survival period was 18.3 mo for the sheep inoculated by the IL route and 17.6 mo for those inoculated by the IC route. Since the IC method is occasionally associated with anesthesia-induced complications, intracranial hematoma, and CNS infections, and the IL method is very efficient, it may be more humane to use the latter. However, before this method can be recommended for inoculation of TSE agents, research needs to show that other TSE agents can also transmit disease via the tongue.

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