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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The first Canadian indigenous case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has molecular characteristics for prion protein that are similar to those of BSE in the United Kingdom but differ from those of chronic wasting disease in captive elk and deer.

Brain tissue from a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from Alberta was subjected to a Western immunoblotting technique to ascertain the molecular profile of any disease-specific, abnormal prion protein, that is, prion protein that is protease-resistant (PrP(res)). This technique can discriminate between isolates from BSE, ovine scrapie, and sheep experimentally infected with BSE. Isolates of brain tissue from the BSE case in Alberta, 3 farmed elk with chronic wasting disease (CWD) from different parts of Saskatchewan, and 1 farmed white-tailed deer with CWD from Edmonton, Alberta, were examined alongside isolates of brain tissue from BSE, ovine scrapie, and sheep experimentally infected with BSE from the United Kingdom (UK). The molecular weights of PrP(res) and the cross reactions to 2 specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were determined for each sample. The BSE isolates from Canada and the UK had very similar PrP(res) molecular weights and reacted with only 1 of the 2 mAbs. The PrP(res) isolated from both elk and white-tailed deer with CWD had a higher molecular weight profile than did the corresponding PrP(res) from the scrapie and BSE isolates. The PrP(res) from CWD cases cross reacted with both mAbs, a property shared with PrP(res) in isolates from scrapie but not with PrP(res) isolates from BSE or sheep experimentally infected with BSE. The results from this study seem to confirm that the PrP(res) isolated from the BSE case in Alberta has similar molecular properties to the PrP(res) isolated from a BSE case in the UK, and that it differs in its molecular and immunological characteristics from the CWD and scrapie cases studied.[1]


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