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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #222075

Title: Typical and atypical cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy

item Richt, Juergen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2006
Publication Date: 12/17/2007
Citation: Richt, J. 2007. Typical and atypical cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy [abstract]. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) Think Tank Executive Summary, Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCO), National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), November 1-2, 20006, Rohnert Park, California. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cattle, first detected in 1986 in the United Kingdom and subsequently in other countries. It is the most likely cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans, but the origin of BSE has not been elucidated so far. This report describes the identification and characterization of two cases of BSE diagnosed in the United States. Case 1 (December 2003) exhibited spongiform changes in the obex area of the brainstem and the presence of the abnormal form of the prion protein, PrP**Sc, in the same brain area, by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blot analysis. Initial suspect diagnosis of BSE for case 2 (November 2004) was made by a rapid ELISA-based BSE test. Case 2 did not exhibit unambiguous spongiform changes in the obex area, but PrP**Sc was detected by IHC and enrichment Western blot analysis in the obex. Using Western blot analysis, PrP**Sc from case 1 showed molecular features similar to typical BSE isolates, whereas PrP**Sc from case 2 revealed an unusual molecular PrP**Sc pattern: molecular mass of the unglycosylated and monoglycosylated isoform was higher than that of typical BSE isolates and case 2 was strongly labeled with antibody P4, which is consistent with a higher molecular mass. Sequencing of the prion protein gene of both BSE-positive animals revealed that the sequences of both animals were within the range of the prion protein gene sequence diversity previously reported for cattle.