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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360665

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

Location: Virus and Prion Research

Title: The agent of transmissible mink encephalopathy passaged in sheep is similar to BSE-L

item CASSMANN, E - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Greenlee, Justin
item BALKEMA-BUSCHMANN, A - Friedrich-Loeffler-institut
item GROSCHUP, M - Friedrich-Loeffler-institut
item MOORE, S - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Kokemuller, Robyn

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/29/2019
Publication Date: 5/18/2019
Citation: Cassmann, E.D., Greenlee, J.J., Balkema-Buschmann, A., Groschup, M.H., Moore, S.J., Kokemuller, R. 2019. The agent of transmissible mink encephalopathy passaged in sheep is similar to BSE-L. Prion. 13. Article 49.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) is a fatal neurologic prion disease of farmed mink. Epidemiologic and experimental evidence following a Wisconsin outbreak in 1985 has linked TME to low-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE-L). Evidence suggests that farmed mink were likely exposed to BSE-L infected downer cattle that were fed to the mink. The interspecies transmission of TME to cattle has been documented. Recently, we demonstrated the susceptibility of sheep to cattle passaged TME by intracranial inoculation. The aim of the present study was to compare ovine passaged cattle TME to other prion diseases of food-producing animals. Using a transgenic mouse model, we characterized the disease phenotype of sheep TME to BSE-C and BSE-L. Separate inoculants of sheep passaged TME were derived from animals with the VRQ/VRQ (VV136) and ARQ/VRQ (AV136) prion protein genotype. Transgenic bovinized mice (TgBovXV) were intracranially inoculated with 20 µl of 1% w/v brain homogenate. The disease phenotypes were characterized by comparing the attack rates, incubation periods, and vacuolation profiles in TgBovXV mice. The attack rate for BSE-C (13/13), BSE-L (18/18), and TMEVV (21/21) was 100%; whereas, the TMEAV group (15/19) had an incomplete attack rate. The average incubation periods were 299, 280, 310, and 535 days, respectively. The vacuolation profiles of BSE-L and TMEVV were most similar with mild differences observed in the thalamus and medulla. Vacuolation profiles from the BSE-C and TMEAV experimental groups were different than TMEVV and BSE-L. Overall the phenotype of disease in TME inoculated transgenic mice was dependent on the sheep donor genotype (VV vs AV). The results of the present study indicate that TME isolated from VRQ/VRQ sheep is similar to BSE-L by incubation period, attack rate, and vacuolation profile. Our findings are in agreement with previous research that found similarities between BSE-L and TME. In this study, the similarities between TME and BSE-L are maintained after multiple interspecies passages.