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Stability of murine scrapie strain 87V after passage in sheep and comparison with CH1641 ovine strain

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume96
Issue number12
Early online date1 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Abstract

Breed- and PRNP genotype-related disease phenotype variability was observed in sheep infected with the 87V murine scrapie strain. Therefore, the stability of this strain was tested by inoculating sheep-derived 87V brain material back into VM mice. As some sheep-adapted 87V disease phenotypes were reminiscent of CH1641 scrapie, transgenic mice (Tg338) expressing ovine prion protein (PrP) were inoculated with the same sheep-derived 87V sources and with CH1641. Although at first passage in VM mice the sheep-derived 87V sources showed some divergences from the murine 87V control, all the characteristics of murine 87V infection were recovered at second passage from all sheep sources. These included 100% attack rates and indistinguishable survival times, lesion profiles, immunohistochemical features of disease-associated PrP accumulation in the brain and PrP biochemical properties. All sheep-derived 87V sources, as well as CH1641, transmitted to Tg338 mice with identical clinical, pathological, immunohistochemical and biochemical features. While this might potentially indicate that sheep-adapted 87V and CH1641 are the same strain, profound divergences were evident, as murine 87V was unable to infect Tg338 mice but was lethal for VM mice, while the reverse was true for CH1641. These combined data suggest that: i) murine 87V is stable and retains its properties after passage in sheep, ii) it can be isolated from sheep showing a CH1641-like or a more conventional scrapie phenotype and iii) sheep-adapted 87V scrapie, with conventional or CH1641-like phenotype, is biologically distinct from experimental CH1641 scrapie, despite the fact that they behave identically in a single transgenic mouse line.

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