Pathological prion protein in muscles of hamsters and mice infected with rodent-adapted BSE or vCJD

Achim Thomzig, Franco Cardone, Dominique Krüger, Maurizio Pocchiari, Paul Brown, Michael Beekes
Journal of General Virology 2006, 87: 251-4
Recently, pathological prion protein (PrP(TSE)) was detected in muscle from sheep infected with scrapie, the archetype of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). This finding has highlighted the question of whether mammalian muscle may potentially also provide a reservoir for TSE agents related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD). Here, results are reported from studies in hamsters and mice that provide direct experimental evidence, for the first time, of BSE- and vCJD-associated PrP(TSE) deposition in muscles. Our findings emphasize the need for further assessment of possible public-health risks from TSE involvement of skeletal muscle.

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