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J Gen Virol. 2006 Dec;87(Pt 12):3737-40.

Infectious agent of sheep scrapie may persist in the environment for at least 16 years.

Author information

1
Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland, Keldur v/vesturlandsveg, IS-112 Reykjavík, Iceland. ggeorgs@hi.is

Abstract

In 1978, a rigorous programme was implemented to stop the spread of, and subsequently eradicate, sheep scrapie in Iceland. Affected flocks were culled, premises were disinfected and, after 2-3 years, restocked with lambs from scrapie-free areas. Between 1978 and 2004, scrapie recurred on 33 farms. Nine of these recurrences occurred 14-21 years after culling, apparently as the result of environmental contamination, but outside entry could not always be absolutely excluded. Of special interest was one farm with a small, completely self-contained flock where scrapie recurred 18 years after culling, 2 years after some lambs had been housed in an old sheep-house that had never been disinfected. Epidemiological investigation established with near certitude that the disease had not been introduced from the outside and it is concluded that the agent may have persisted in the old sheep-house for at least 16 years.

PMID:
17098992
DOI:
10.1099/vir.0.82011-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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