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Vet Pathol. 2008 Jul;45(4):443-54. doi: 10.1354/vp.45-4-443.

A histopathologic and immunohistochemical review of archived UK caprine scrapie cases.

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Leahurst Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Liverpool Faculty of Veterinary Science, Old Chester Highroad, Neston, Wirral, UK.


In 2005, a prion disease identified in a goat from France was reported to be consistent with disease from the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent. Subsequent retrospective examination of UK goat scrapie cases led to the identification of one potentially similar, but as yet unconfirmed, case from Scotland. These findings strengthened concerns that small ruminant populations exposed to the BSE agent have become infected. The lack of data relating specifically to scrapie in goats has been contributory to past assumptions that, in general, sheep and goats respond similarly to prion infections. In this study, brain material from 22 archived caprine scrapie cases from the UK was reviewed by histopathology and by immunohistochemical examination for accumulations of disease-specific prion protein (PrP(Sc)) to provide additional data on the lesions of caprine scrapie and to identify any BSE-like features. The vacuolar change observed in the goats was characteristic of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in general. PrP(Sc) immunohistochemical morphologic forms described in scrapie and experimental BSE infections of sheep were demonstrable in the goats, but these were generally more extensive and variable in PrP(Sc) accumulation. None of the cases examined showed a PrP(Sc) immunohistochemical pattern indicative of BSE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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