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J Vis Exp. 2013 Nov 6;(81):e50853. doi: 10.3791/50853.

Procedures for identifying infectious prions after passage through the digestive system of an avian species.

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1
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, USDA.

Abstract

Infectious prion (PrP(Res)) material is likely the cause of fatal, neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) diseases(1). Transmission of TSE diseases, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD), is presumed to be from animal to animal(2,3) as well as from environmental sources(4-6). Scavengers and carnivores have potential to translocate PrP(Res) material through consumption and excretion of CWD-contaminated carrion. Recent work has documented passage of PrP(Res) material through the digestive system of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), a common North American scavenger(7). We describe procedures used to document passage of PrP(Res) material through American crows. Crows were gavaged with RML-strain mouse-adapted scrapie and their feces were collected 4 hr post gavage. Crow feces were then pooled and injected intraperitoneally into C57BL/6 mice. Mice were monitored daily until they expressed clinical signs of mouse scrapie and were thereafter euthanized. Asymptomatic mice were monitored until 365 days post inoculation. Western blot analysis was conducted to confirm disease status. Results revealed that prions remain infectious after traveling through the digestive system of crows and are present in the feces, causing disease in test mice.

PMID:
24300668
PMCID:
PMC3970700
DOI:
10.3791/50853
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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