Abstract Title:

Molecular analysis of iatrogenic scrapie in Italy.

Abstract Source:

J Gen Virol. 2003 Apr;84(Pt 4):1047-52. PMID: 12655108

Abstract Author(s):

Gianluigi Zanusso, Cristina Casalone, Pierluigi Acutis, Elena Bozzetta, Alessia Farinazzo, Matteo Gelati, Michele Fiorini, Gianluigi Forloni, Man Sun Sy, Salvatore Monaco, Maria Caramelli

Article Affiliation:

Department of Neurological and Visual Sciences, University of Verona, Piazzale L. A. Scuro, 10, 37134 Verona, Italy.


An accidental intra- and interspecies transmission of scrapie occurred in Italy in 1997 and 1998 following exposure to a vaccine against Mycoplasma agalactiae. PrP(Sc) in affected sheep and goats, collected from a single flock exposed to vaccination 2 years earlier, was molecularly typed. In five animals with iatrogenic scrapie, a PrP(Sc) type with a 20 kDa core fragment was found in all areas of the brain investigated. In three sheep and one goat, this isoform co-occurred with a fully glycosylated isoform that had a protease-resistant backbone of 17 kDa, whereas in two sheep and four goats, the two PrP(Sc) types were detected in different regions of the brain. In sheep with natural field scrapie, a PrP(Sc) type with physico-chemical properties indistinguishable from the 20 kDa isoform was found. The present results suggest the co-presence of two prion strains in mammary gland and brain homogenates used for vaccination.

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