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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313120

Title: The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of livestock

item Greenlee, Justin
item WEST GREENLEE, M HEATHER - Iowa State University

Submitted to: ILAR Journal
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2015
Publication Date: 5/19/2015
Citation: Greenlee, J.J., West Greenlee, M.,H. 2015. The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of livestock. ILAR Journal. 56(1):7-25.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases. TSEs have been described in several species including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) in mink and Kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. These diseases are associated with the accumulation of a protease-resistant, disease-associated isoform of the prion protein (called PrPSc) in the central nervous system and other tissues, depending on the host species. Typically, TSEs are acquired through exposure to infectious material, but inherited and spontaneous TSEs also occur. All TSEs share pathologic features and infectious mechanism, but have distinct differences in transmission and epidemiology due to host factors and strain differences encoded within the structure of the misfolded prion protein. The possibility that BSE can be transmitted to humans as the cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has brought recent attention to this family of diseases. This review is focused on the TSEs of livestock: bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle and scrapie in sheep and goats.