Efficient transmission of classical scrapie agent x124 by intralingual route to genetically susceptible sheep with a low dose inoculum
Mammadova, N.; Cassmann, E.; Greenlee, J.J.
Research in Veterinary Science 132: 217-220
ISSN/ISBN: 1532-2661 PMID: 32610171 DOI: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2020.06.010
Scrapie is a naturally occurring prion disease of sheep and goats that results in accumulation of the misfolded prion protein (PrPsc) and progressive neurodegeneration. After inoculation with classical scrapie isolate x124, susceptibility and incubation period are associated with valine at codon 136 (V136) of the prion protein: VRQ/VRQ had the shortest incubation periods, followed by VRQ/ARQ sheep, while ARQ/ARQ sheep only developed disease after inoculation via the intracerebral route. Intralingual inoculation of TSE agents effectively transmits disease similar to intracranial inoculation; therefore, it is possible that oral lesions may facilitate susceptibility to scrapie transmission. In this study, investigated the infectivity of decreasing doses of the x124 scrapie agent (100 mg, 50 mg, 20 mg, and 10 mg) on incubation time and attack rate after experimental intralingual inoculation into VRQ/ARQ sheep. The lowest inoculum dose tested in this study effectively transmitted the x124 scrapie agent in VRQ/ARQ sheep with a 100% attack rate and no significant difference in incubation times among sheep inoculated with varying doses. Moreover, immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis revealed similar biochemical and immunohistochemical features among the four cohorts of sheep irrespective of inoculum dose. This study provides a starting point for further investigation to determine the minimum infectious dose of x124 scrapie in sheep and its effect on attack rate and incubation time, central for assessing the potential risk of scrapie occurrence in sheep flock.