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Biology 2015, 4(4), 785-813; doi:10.3390/biology4040785

Methods for Differentiating Prion Types in Food-Producing Animals

1
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, College Road, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK
2
ADAS UK, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, College Road, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christian D. Doerig
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 29 October 2015 / Accepted: 4 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
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Abstract

Prions are an enigma amongst infectious disease agents as they lack a genome yet confer specific pathologies thought to be dictated mainly, if not solely, by the conformation of the disease form of the prion protein (PrPSc). Prion diseases affect humans and animals, the latter including the food-producing ruminant species cattle, sheep, goats and deer. Importantly, it has been shown that the disease agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is zoonotic, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. Current diagnostic tests can distinguish different prion types and in food-producing animals these focus on the differentiation of BSE from the non-zoonotic agents. Whilst BSE cases are now rare, atypical forms of both scrapie and BSE have been reported, as well as two types of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. Typing of animal prion isolates remains an important aspect of prion diagnosis and is now becoming more focused on identifying the range of prion types that are present in food-producing animals and also developing tests that can screen for emerging, novel prion diseases. Here, we review prion typing methodologies in light of current and emerging prion types in food-producing animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: prion; transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; scrapie; BSE; CWD; strain typing prion; transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; scrapie; BSE; CWD; strain typing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gough, K.C.; Rees, H.C.; Ives, S.E.; Maddison, B.C. Methods for Differentiating Prion Types in Food-Producing Animals. Biology 2015, 4, 785-813.

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