Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jun 12;10(6):e1004202. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004202. eCollection 2014 Jun.

Preclinical detection of variant CJD and BSE prions in blood.

Author information

UMR INRA ENVT 1225, Interactions Hôtes Agents Pathogènes, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.
CEA, Institute of Emerging Diseases and Innovative Therapies (iMETI), Division of Prions and Related Diseases (SEPIA), Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
UR892 Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires Centre de Recherche de Jouy-en-Josas, Jouy-en-Josas, France.
Hospices Civils de Lyon -Laboratoire Diagnostic Maladies à Prions; CNRS, INSERM, UCB Lyon1, Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon, BioRan, Bron, France.
VLA Weybridge, ASU, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, United Kingdom.
EFS-Nord de France, Quai de Jemmapes, Lille, France.
INRA, UMR 1282 Infectiologie et Santé Publique, Nouzilly, France.
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Greifswald, Insel Riems, Germany.
UR892 Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires Centre de Recherche de Jouy-en-Josas, Jouy-en-Josas, France; Franklab, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France.


The emergence of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) is considered a likely consequence of human dietary exposure to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) agent. More recently, secondary vCJD cases were identified in patients transfused with blood products prepared from apparently healthy donors who later went on to develop the disease. As there is no validated assay for detection of vCJD/BSE infected individuals the prevalence of the disease in the population remains uncertain. In that context, the risk of vCJD blood borne transmission is considered as a serious concern by health authorities. In this study, appropriate conditions and substrates for highly efficient and specific in vitro amplification of vCJD/BSE agent using Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) were first identified. This showed that whatever the origin (species) of the vCJD/BSE agent, the ovine Q171 PrP substrates provided the best amplification performances. These results indicate that the homology of PrP amino-acid sequence between the seed and the substrate is not the crucial determinant of the vCJD agent propagation in vitro. The ability of this method to detect endogenous vCJD/BSE agent in the blood was then defined. In both sheep and primate models of the disease, the assay enabled the identification of infected individuals in the early preclinical stage of the incubation period. Finally, sample panels that included buffy coat from vCJD affected patients and healthy controls were tested blind. The assay identified three out of the four tested vCJD affected patients and no false positive was observed in 141 healthy controls. The negative results observed in one of the tested vCJD cases concurs with results reported by others using a different vCJD agent blood detection assay and raises the question of the potential absence of prionemia in certain patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center