A histopathologic and immunohistochemical review of archived UK caprine scrapie cases

Dustan, B H and Spencer, Y I and Casalone, C and Brownlie, J and Simmons, M M (2008) A histopathologic and immunohistochemical review of archived UK caprine scrapie cases. VETERINARY PATHOLOGY, 45 (4). pp. 443-454.

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In 2005, a prion disease identified in a goat from France was reported to be consistent with disease from the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent. Subsequent retrospective examination of UK goat scrapie cases led to the identification of one potentially similar, but as yet unconfirmed, case from Scotland. These findings strengthened concerns that small ruminant populations exposed to the BSE agent have become infected. The lack of data relating specifically to scrapie in goats has been contributory to past assumptions that, in general, sheep and goats respond similarly to prion infections. In this study, brain material from 22 archived caprine scrapie cases from the UK was reviewed by histopathology and by immunohistochemical examination for accumulations of disease-specific prion protein (PrPSc) to provide c additional data on the lesions of caprine scrapie and to identify any BSE-like features. The vacuolar chang observed in the goats was characteristic of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in general. PrPSc immunohistochemical morphologic forms described in scrapie and experimental BSE infections of sheep were demonstrable in the goats, but these were generally more extensive and variable in PrPSc accumulation. None of the cases examined showed a PrPSc immunohistochemical pattern indicative of BSE.

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