Diagnostic implications of detection of proteinase K-resistant protein in spleen, lymph nodes, and brain of sheep

Richard Race From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59480 (Race, Ernst, Caughey); the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Science and Technology, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA 50010 (Jenny, Taylor); and USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Scrapie Investigation Center, Mission, TX 78572 (Sutton).

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Darwin Ernst From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59480 (Race, Ernst, Caughey); the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Science and Technology, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA 50010 (Jenny, Taylor); and USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Scrapie Investigation Center, Mission, TX 78572 (Sutton).

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Allen Jenny From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59480 (Race, Ernst, Caughey); the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Science and Technology, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA 50010 (Jenny, Taylor); and USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Scrapie Investigation Center, Mission, TX 78572 (Sutton).

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William Taylor From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59480 (Race, Ernst, Caughey); the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Science and Technology, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA 50010 (Jenny, Taylor); and USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Scrapie Investigation Center, Mission, TX 78572 (Sutton).

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Diane Sutton From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59480 (Race, Ernst, Caughey); the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Science and Technology, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA 50010 (Jenny, Taylor); and USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Scrapie Investigation Center, Mission, TX 78572 (Sutton).

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Byron Caughey From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59480 (Race, Ernst, Caughey); the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Science and Technology, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA 50010 (Jenny, Taylor); and USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Scrapie Investigation Center, Mission, TX 78572 (Sutton).

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Summary

Brain, spleen, and selected lymph nodes from sheep with clinical signs of scrapie were analyzed for presence of proteinase K-resistant protein (PrP-res). Diagnosis of scrapie on the basis of detection of PrP-res was compared with diagnosis on the basis of histologic evaluation of the brain from clinically affected or exposed sheep. Proteinase K-resistant protein was found in every brain that was histologically positive for scrapie, and in addition, was found in the brain of several clinically positive sheep that were not diagnosed as scrapie-positive by histologic evaluation. Proteinase K-resistant protein was also found in 87% of the spleens and lymph nodes from sheep that had PrP-res detected in brain homogenates. Therefore, analysis of sheep brain, spleen, or lymph nodes for PrP-res provided a diagnostic approach that was superior to histologic examination alone for detection of naturally scrapie agent-infected sheep.

Summary

Brain, spleen, and selected lymph nodes from sheep with clinical signs of scrapie were analyzed for presence of proteinase K-resistant protein (PrP-res). Diagnosis of scrapie on the basis of detection of PrP-res was compared with diagnosis on the basis of histologic evaluation of the brain from clinically affected or exposed sheep. Proteinase K-resistant protein was found in every brain that was histologically positive for scrapie, and in addition, was found in the brain of several clinically positive sheep that were not diagnosed as scrapie-positive by histologic evaluation. Proteinase K-resistant protein was also found in 87% of the spleens and lymph nodes from sheep that had PrP-res detected in brain homogenates. Therefore, analysis of sheep brain, spleen, or lymph nodes for PrP-res provided a diagnostic approach that was superior to histologic examination alone for detection of naturally scrapie agent-infected sheep.

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