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Evidence of effective scrapie transmission via colostrum and milk in sheep

Konold, T, Moore, SJ, Bellworthy, SJ, Terry, LA, Thorne, L, Ramsay, A, Salguero, FJ, Simmons, MM and Simmons, HA (2013) Evidence of effective scrapie transmission via colostrum and milk in sheep BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH, 9, ARTN 9.

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Background: Evidence for scrapie transmission from VRQ/VRQ ewes to lambs via milk was first reported in 2008 but in that study there were concerns that lateral transmission may have contributed to the high transmission rate observed since five control lambs housed with the milk recipients also became infected. This report provides further information obtained from two follow-up studies, one where milk recipients were housed separately after milk consumption to confirm the validity of the high scrapie transmission rate via milk and the second to assess any difference in infectivity from colostrum and subsequent milk. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) was also used to detect prion protein in milk samples as a comparison with the infectivity data and extended to milk samples from ewes without a VRQ allele.Results: Seven pairs of lambs fed colostrum and milk individually from seven scrapie-affected sheep (pre-clinical or clinical) presented with disease-associated prion protein, PrPd, in rectal lymphoid tissue at 4-5 months of age. Five further pairs of lambs fed either colostrum or subsequent milk from five pre-clinical scrapie-affected sheep equally presented with PrPd in lymphoid tissue by 9 months of age. Nine sheep were lost due to intercurrent diseases but all remaining milk or colostrum recipients, including those in the original study with the lateral transmission controls, developed clinical signs of scrapie from 19 months of age and scrapie was confirmed by brain examination. Unexposed control sheep totalling 19 across all three studies showed no evidence of infection.Scrapie PrP was amplified repeatedly by PMCA in all tested milk samples from scrapie-affected VRQ/VRQ sheep, and in one scrapie-affected ARQ/ARQ sheep. By contrast, milk samples from five VRQ/VRQ and 11 ARQ/ARQ scrapie-free sheep did not have detectable scrapie PrP on repeated tests.Conclusions: Feeding of milk from scrapie-affected sheep results in a high transmission rate in VRQ/VRQ sheep and both colostrum and milk transmit scrapie. Detection of scrapie prion protein in individual milk samples from scrapie-affected ewes confirms PMCA as a valuable in vitro test. © 2013 Crown; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Date : 7 May 2013
Identification Number : 10.1186/1746-6148-9-99
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Veterinary Sciences, VETERINARY SCIENCES, Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, Scrapie, Sheep, Milk, Colostrum, Transmission, PMCA, Prion protein, RAMALT, Copper, BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY, PRION PROTEIN, PRPSC, ACCUMULATION, INFECTIVITY, BRAIN, FLOCK, BSE, AMPLIFICATION, DISEASE
Related URLs :
Additional Information : © 2013 Crown; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Jan 2016 12:46
Last Modified : 08 Jan 2016 12:46

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