Increased susceptibility of transgenic mice expressing human PrP to experimental sheep bovine spongiform encephalopathy is not due to increased agent titre in sheep brain tissue
Manson, Jean C.
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Plinston, C., Hart, P., Hunter, N., Manson, J.C. and Barron, R.M. (2014) ‘Increased susceptibility of transgenic mice expressing human PrP to experimental sheep bovine spongiform encephalopathy is not due to increased agent titre in sheep brain tissue’, Journal of General Virology, 95(8), pp. 1855–1859. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.065730-0.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans have previously been shown to be caused by the same strain of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agent. It is hypothesized that the agent spread to humans following consumption of food products prepared from infected cattle. Despite evidence supporting zoonotic transmission, mouse models expressing human prion protein (HuTg) have consistently shown poor transmission rates when inoculated with cattle BSE. Higher rates of transmission have however been observed when these mice are exposed to BSE that has been experimentally transmitted through sheep or goats, indicating that humans may potentially be more susceptible to BSE from small ruminants. Here we demonstrate that increased transmissibility of small ruminant BSE to HuTg mice was not due to replication of higher levels of infectivity in sheep brain tissue, and is instead due to other specific changes in the infectious agent.