JOURNAL ARTICLE

Rapid typing of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy strains with differential ELISA

Stéphanie Simon, Jérôme Nugier, Nathalie Morel, Hervé Boutal, Christophe Créminon, Sylvie L Benestad, Olivier Andréoletti, Frédéric Lantier, Jean-Marc Bilheude, Muriel Feyssaguet, Anne-Gaëlle Biacabe, Thierry Baron, Jacques Grassi
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2008, 14 (4): 608-16
18394279
The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent has been transmitted to humans, leading to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Sheep and goats can be experimentally infected by BSE and have been potentially exposed to natural BSE; however, whether BSE can be transmitted to small ruminants is not known. Based on the particular biochemical properties of the abnormal prion protein (PrPsc) associated with BSE, and particularly the increased degradation induced by proteinase K in the N terminal part of PrPsc, we have developed a rapid ELISA designed to distinguish BSE from other scrapie strains. This assay clearly discriminates experimental ovine BSE from other scrapie strains and was used to screen 260 transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)-infected small ruminant samples identified by the French active surveillance network (2002/2003). In this context, this test has helped to identify the first case of natural BSE in a goat and can be used to classify TSE isolates based on the proteinase K sensitivity of PrPsc.

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