Blood transmission studies of prion infectivity in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus): the Baxter study

Diane L Ritchie, Susan V Gibson, Christian R Abee, Thomas R Kreil, James W Ironside, Paul Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Four secondary transmissions of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) infectivity have been associated with the transfusion of nonleukoreduced red blood cells collected from vCJD patients during the asymptomatic phase of the disease. Establishing efficient experimental models for assessing the risk of future transmissions of vCJD infectivity via blood transfusion is of paramount importance in view of a study of archived appendix samples in which the prevalence of asymptomatic vCJD infection in the United Kingdom was estimated at approximately 1 in 2000 of the population. In this study, we investigated transmission of vCJD and sporadic CJD (sCJD) infectivity from blood using the squirrel monkey, which is highly susceptible to experimental challenge with human prion disease.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Whole blood collected from vCJD- and sCJD-infected squirrel monkeys was transfused at multiple time points into recipient squirrel monkeys. Blood recipients were euthanized approximately 7 years after their first blood transfusion.

RESULTS: No clinical or pathologic signs of a prion disease were observed in either the sCJD- or the vCJD-transfused monkeys, and immunohistochemistry and biochemical investigations showed no PrP(TSE) in central nervous system or lymphoreticular tissues. Similarly, monkeys inoculated intracerebrally (IC) and intravenously (IV) with either buffy coat or plasma from vCJD and sCJD patients failed to develop disease. However, white blood cells from a chimpanzee-passaged strain of human Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease transmitted autopsy-proven disease to two IC-inoculated monkeys after incubation periods of 34 and 39 months.

CONCLUSION: Blood transmits GSS but not sCJD or vCJD infectivity to IC- or IV-inoculated squirrel monkeys within a 7-year observation period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransfusion
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Blood transmission studies of prion infectivity in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus): the Baxter study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this