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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353094

Research Project: Pathobiology, Genetics, and Detection of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Location: Virus and Prion Research

Title: The agent of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism transmits after oronasal challenge

item Greenlee, Justin
item MOORE, S - Orise Fellow
item WEST-GREENLEE, M - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Prion
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2018
Publication Date: 5/22/2018
Citation: Greenlee, J.J., Moore, S.J., West Greenlee, M.H. 2018. The agent of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism transmits after oronasal challenge. Prion 2018, May 22-25, 2018, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Paper No. P98, page 116.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In 2006, a case of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was reported in a cow with a previously unreported prion protein polymorphism (E211K). The E211K polymorphism is heritable and homologous to the E200K mutation in humans that is the most frequent PRNP mutation associated with familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Although the prevalence of the E211K polymorphism is low, cattle carrying the K211 allele develop H-type BSE with a rapid onset after experimental inoculation by the intracranial route. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the agents of H-type BSE or H-type BSE associated with the E211K polymorphism transmit to wild type cattle or cattle with the K211 allele after oronasal exposure. Wild type (EE211) or heterozygous (EK211) cattle were oronasally inoculated with either H-type BSE from the 2004 US H-type BSE case (n=3) or from the 2006 US H-type case associated with the E211K polymorphism (n=4) using 10% w/v brain homogenates. Cattle were observed daily throughout the course of the experiment for the development of clinical signs. At approximately 50 months post-inoculation, one steer (EK211 inoculated with E211K associated H-BSE) developed clinical signs including inattentiveness, loss of body condition, weakness, ataxia, and muscle fasciculations and was euthanized. Enzyme immunoassay confirmed that abundant misfolded protein was present in the brainstem, and immunohistochemistry demonstrated PrPSc throughout the brain. Western blot analysis of brain tissue from the clinically affected steer was consistent with the E211K H-type BSE inoculum. With the experiment currently at 55 months post-inoculation, no other cattle in this study have developed clinical signs suggestive of prion disease. This study demonstrates that the H-type BSE agent is transmissible by the oronasal route. These results reinforce the need for ongoing surveillance for classical and atypical BSE to minimize the risk of potentially infectious tissues entering the animal or human food chains.