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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2005 Jan;17(1):3-9.

Experimental transmission of sheep scrapie by intracerebral and oral routes to genetically susceptible Suffolk sheep in the United States.

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National Animal Disease Center, ARS, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Scrapie is a naturally occurring fatal neurodegenerative disease of sheep and goats. Susceptibility to the disease is partly dependent on the genetic makeup of the host. This study documents clinicopathological findings and the distribution of abnormal prion proteins (PrPres) by immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques, in tissues of genetically susceptible sheep inoculated with US sheep scrapie agents. Four-month-old Suffolk lambs (QQ or HQ at codon 171) were inoculated (5 intracerebrally and 19 orally) with an inoculum (#13-7) consisting of a pool of scrapie-affected sheep brains. Intracerebrally inoculated animals were euthanized when advanced clinical signs of scrapie were observed. Orally inoculated animals were euthanized at predetermined time points (4, 9, 12, 15, and 21 months postinoculation [PI]) and thereafter when the animals had terminal signs of disease. All intracerebrally inoculated animals exhibited clinical signs of scrapie and were euthanized between 13 and 24 months PI. Spongiform lesions in the brains and PrPres deposits in central nervous system and lymphoid tissues were present in these sheep. In orally inoculated sheep, clinical signs of scrapie were seen between 27 and 43 months PI in 5/9 animals. The earliest detectable PrPres was observed in brainstem and lymphoid tissues of a clinically normal, orally inoculated sheep at 15 months PI. Three of the 4 clinically normal sheep were positive at 15, 20, and 49 months PI by PrPres immunohistochemistry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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