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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Cutlip, Randall
item Miller, Janice
item Hamir, Amirali
item Lehmkuhl, Howard
item Peters, Jeanine
item Robinson, Mark
item Jenny, Allen
item Taylor, William
item Bisplinghoff, Fred

Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Scrapie is a disease of sheep and goats that is similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and other brain diseases of TME of mink, BSE or mad cow disease of cattle, and CWD of deer and elk. Because scrapie occurs in most countries of the world and initial indications are that BSE originated from sheep, we were concerned that scrapie or CWD might transmit to cattle in the U.S. and cause BSE. Five years ago, we demonstrated that scrapie would cause a neurologic disease when given by injecting the agent into the brain, but the disease induced was different from BSE as it occurs in the United Kingdom and Europe. In this study, we found that cattle fed raw brain or meat and bone meal (MBM) and tallow prepared from sheep with scrapie remained normal for eight years after exposure. This work indicates that cattle are highly resistant to scrapie but does not totally exclude the possibility that genetic differences might allow transmission. These results lend assurance to the cattle and sheep industries that the U.S. form of sheep scrapie will not cause BSE in cattle as implicated in Europe.

Technical Abstract: Scrapie is a neurodegenerative disease of sheep and goats that is the prototype disease of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) of mink, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) of cattle, and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk. Scrapie has been transmitted to cattle by the intracerebral route, inducing a neurologic disease with accumulation of abnormal prion protein in the brain but without prominent neurologic. Clinical signs and neurologic changes were not compatible with BSE. Here, we report failure to induce disease in cattle by feeding raw brain suspension or meat and bone meal (MBM) and tallow prepared from sheep with scrapie.

Last Modified: 05/27/2017
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