White-tailed deer are susceptible to the agent of sheep scrapie by intracerebral inoculation.
ABSTRACT: Interspecies transmission studies afford the opportunity to better understand the potential host range and origins of prion diseases. The purpose of this experiment was to determine susceptibility of white-tailed deer to the agent of scrapie after intracerebral inoculation and to compare clinical signs and lesions to those reported for chronic wasting disease (CWD). Deer (n = 5) were inoculated with 1 mL of a 10% (wt/vol) brain homogenate derived from a sheep clinically affected with scrapie. A non-inoculated deer was maintained as a negative control. Deer were observed daily for clinical signs of disease and euthanized and necropsied when unequivocal signs of scrapie were noted. One animal died 7 months post inoculation (pi) due to intercurrent disease. Examinations of brain tissue for the presence of the disease-associated abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) by western blot (WB) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were negative whereas IHC of lymphoid tissues was positive. Deer necropsied at 15-22 months pi were positive for scrapie by IHC and WB. Deer necropsied after 20 months pi had clinical signs of depression and progressive weight loss. Tissues with PrP(Sc) immunoreactivity included brain (at levels of cerebrum, hippocampus, colliculus, cerebellum, and brainstem), trigeminal ganglion, neurohypophysis, retina, spinal cord, and various lymphoid tissues including tonsil, retropharyngeal and mesenteric lymph nodes, Peyer's patches, and spleen. This work demonstrates for the first time that white-tailed deer are susceptible to sheep scrapie by intracerebral inoculation. To further test the susceptibility of white-tailed deer to scrapie these experiments will be repeated with a more natural route of inoculation.
Project description:Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, remains prevalent in North American elk, white-tailed deer and mule deer. A natural case of CWD in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) has not been reported despite potential habitat overlap with CWD-infected deer or elk herds. This study investigates the experimental transmission of CWD from elk or white-tailed deer to reindeer by the oral route of inoculation. Ante-mortem testing of the three reindeer exposed to CWD from white-tailed deer identified the accumulation of pathological PrP (PrP(CWD)) in the recto-anal mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) of two reindeer at 13.4 months post-inoculation. Terminal CWD occurred in the two RAMALT-positive reindeer at 18.5 and 20 months post-inoculation while one other reindeer in the white-tailed deer CWD inoculum group and none of the 3 reindeer exposed to elk CWD developed disease. Tissue distribution analysis of PrP(CWD) in CWD-affected reindeer revealed widespread deposition in central and peripheral nervous systems, lymphoreticular tissues, the gastrointestinal tract, neuroendocrine tissues and cardiac muscle. Analysis of prion protein gene (PRNP) sequences in the 6 reindeer identified polymorphisms at residues 2 (V/M), 129 (G/S), 138 (S/N) and 169 (V/M). These findings demonstrate that (i) a sub-population of reindeer are susceptible to CWD by oral inoculation implicating the potential for transmission to other Rangifer species, and (ii) certain reindeer PRNP polymorphisms may be protective against CWD infection.
Project description:Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease in deer and elk. Unique among the prion diseases, it is transmitted among captive and free-ranging animals. To facilitate studies of the biology of CWD prions, we generated five lines of transgenic (Tg) mice expressing prion protein (PrP) from Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), denoted Tg(ElkPrP), and two lines of Tg mice expressing PrP common to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), denoted Tg(DePrP). None of the Tg(ElkPrP) or Tg(DePrP) mice exhibited spontaneous neurologic dysfunction at more than 600 days of age. Brain samples from CWD-positive elk, white-tailed deer, and mule deer produced disease in Tg(ElkPrP) mice between 180 and 200 days after inoculation and in Tg(DePrP) mice between 300 and 400 days. One of eight cervid brain inocula transmitted disease to Tg(MoPrP)4053 mice overexpressing wild-type mouse PrP-A in approximately 540 days. Neuropathologic analysis revealed abundant PrP amyloid plaques in the brains of ill mice. Brain homogenates from symptomatic Tg(ElkPrP) mice produced disease in 120 to 190 days in Tg(ElkPrP) mice. In contrast to the Tg(ElkPrP) and Tg(DePrP) mice, Tg mice overexpressing human, bovine, or ovine PrP did not develop prion disease after inoculation with CWD prions from among nine different isolates after >500 days. These findings suggest that CWD prions from elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer can be readily transmitted among these three cervid species.
Project description:Infectious prion diseases-scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of several species in the deer family-are transmitted naturally within affected host populations. Although several possible sources of contagion have been identified in excretions and secretions from symptomatic animals, the biological importance of these sources in sustaining epidemics remains unclear. Here we show that asymptomatic CWD-infected mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) excrete CWD prions in their faeces long before they develop clinical signs of prion disease. Intracerebral inoculation of irradiated deer faeces into transgenic mice overexpressing cervid prion protein (PrP) revealed infectivity in 14 of 15 faecal samples collected from five deer at 7-11 months before the onset of neurological disease. Although prion concentrations in deer faeces were considerably lower than in brain tissue from the same deer collected at the end of the disease, the estimated total infectious dose excreted in faeces by an infected deer over the disease course may approximate the total contained in a brain. Prolonged faecal prion excretion by infected deer provides a plausible natural mechanism that might explain the high incidence and efficient horizontal transmission of CWD within deer herds, as well as prion transmission among other susceptible cervids.
Project description:The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterised by the accumulation of a pathological form of a host protein known as prion protein (PrP). The validation of abnormal PrP detection techniques is fundamental to allow the use of high-throughput laboratory based tests, avoiding the limitations of bioassays. We used scrapie, a prototype TSE, to examine the relationship between infectivity and laboratory based diagnostic tools. The data may help to optimise strategies to prevent exposure of humans to small ruminant TSE material via the food chain. Abnormal PrP distribution/accumulation was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), Western blot (WB) and ELISA in samples from four animals. In addition, infectivity was detected using a sensitive bank vole bioassay with selected samples from two of the four sheep and protein misfolding cyclic amplification using bank vole brain as substrate (vPMCA) was also carried out in selected samples from one animal. Lymph nodes, oculomotor muscles, sciatic nerve and kidney were positive by IHC, WB and ELISA, although at levels 100-1000 fold lower than the brain, and contained detectable infectivity by bioassay. Tissues not infectious by bioassay were also negative by all laboratory tests including PMCA. Although discrepancies were observed in tissues with very low levels of abnormal PrP, there was an overall good correlation between IHC, WB, ELISA and bioassay results. Most importantly, there was a good correlation between the detection of abnormal PrP in tissues using laboratory tests and the levels of infectivity even when the titre was low. These findings provide useful information for risk modellers and represent a first step toward the validation of laboratory tests used to quantify prion infectivity, which would greatly aid TSE risk assessment policies.
Project description:Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of North American cervids, i.e., mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk (wapiti). To facilitate in vitro studies of CWD, we have developed a transformed deer cell line that is persistently infected with CWD. Primary cultures derived from uninfected mule deer brain tissue were transformed by transfection with a plasmid containing the simian virus 40 genome. A transformed cell line (MDB) was exposed to microsomes prepared from the brainstem of a CWD-affected mule deer. CWD-associated, protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(CWD)) was used as an indicator of CWD infection. Although no PrP(CWD) was detected in any of these cultures after two passes, dilution cloning of cells yielded one PrP(CWD)-positive clone out of 51. This clone, designated MDB(CWD), has maintained stable PrP(CWD) production through 32 serial passes thus far. A second round of dilution cloning yielded 20 PrP(CWD)-positive subclones out of 30, one of which was designated MDB(CWD2). The MDB(CWD2) cell line was positive for fibronectin and negative for microtubule-associated protein 2 (a neuronal marker) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (an activated astrocyte marker), consistent with derivation from brain fibroblasts (e.g., meningeal fibroblasts). Two inhibitors of rodent scrapie protease-resistant PrP accumulation, pentosan polysulfate and a porphyrin compound, indium (III) meso-tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphine chloride, potently blocked PrP(CWD) accumulation in MDB(CWD) cells. This demonstrates the utility of these cells in a rapid in vitro screening assay for PrP(CWD) inhibitors and suggests that these compounds have potential to be active against CWD in vivo.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Diagnosis based on prion detection in lymph nodes of sheep and goats can improve active surveillance for scrapie and, if it were circulating, for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). With sizes that allow repetitive testing and a location that is easily accessible at slaughter, retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RLN) are considered suitable organs for testing. Western blotting (WB) of brain homogenates is, in principle, a technique well suited to both detect and discriminate between scrapie and BSE. In this report, WB is developed for rapid diagnosis in RLN and to study biochemical characteristics of PrPres. RESULTS: Optimal PrPres detection in RLN by WB was achieved by proper tissue processing, antibody choice and inclusion of a step for PrPresconcentration. The analyses were performed on three different sheep sources. Firstly, in a study with preclinical scrapie cases, WB of RLN from infected sheep of VRQ/VRQ genotype--VRQ represents, respectively, polymorphic PrP amino acids 136, 154, and 171--allowed a diagnosis 14 mo earlier compared to WB of brain stem. Secondly, samples collected from sheep with confirmed scrapie in the course of passive and active surveillance programmes in the period 2002-2003 yielded positive results depending on genotype: all sheep with genotypes ARH/VRQ, VRQ/VRQ, and ARQ/VRQ scored positive for PrPres, but ARQ/ARQ and ARR/VRQ were not all positive. Thirdly, in an experimental BSE study, detection of PrPres in all 11 ARQ/ARQ sheep, including 7 preclinical cases, was possible. In all instances, WB and IHC were almost as sensitive. Moreover, BSE infection could be discriminated from scrapie infection by faster electrophoretic migration of the PrPres bands. Using dual antibody staining with selected monoclonal antibodies like 12B2 and L42, these differences in migration could be employed for an unequivocal differentiation between BSE and scrapie. With respect to glycosylation of PrPres, BSE cases exhibited a greater diglycosylated fraction than scrapie cases. Furthermore, a slight time dependent increase of diglycosylated PrPres was noted between individual sheep, which was remarkable in that it occurred in both scrapie and BSE study. CONCLUSION: The present data indicate that, used in conjunction with testing in brain, WB of RLN can be a sensitive tool for improving surveillance of scrapie and BSE, allowing early detection of BSE and scrapie and thereby ensuring safer sheep and goat products.
Project description:Chronic wasting disease (CWD), an important emerging prion disease of cervids, is readily transmitted by intracerebral or oral inoculation from deer-to-deer and elk-to-elk, suggesting the latter is a natural route of exposure. Studies of host range susceptibility to oral infection, particularly of those species found in habitats where CWD currently exists are imperative. This report describes the experimental transmission of CWD to red deer following oral inoculation with infectious CWD material of elk origin. At 18 to 20 months post-inoculation, mild to moderate neurological signs and weight loss were observed and animals were euthanized and tested using 3 conventional immunological assays. The data indicate that red deer are susceptible to oral challenge and that tissues currently used for CWD diagnosis show strong abnormal prion (PrP(CWD)) accumulation. Widespread peripheral PrP(CWD) deposition involves lymphoreticular tissues, endocrine tissues, and cardiac muscle and suggests a potential source of prion infectivity, a means of horizontal transmission and carrier state.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Incubation period, disease progression, pathology and clinical presentation of classical scrapie in sheep are highly dependent on PRNP genotype, time and route of inoculation and prion strain. Our experimental model with pre-colostrum inoculation of homozygous VRQ lambs has shown to be an effective model with extensive PrP<sup>Sc</sup> dissemination in lymphatic tissue and a short incubation period with severe clinical disease. Serum protein analysis has shown an elevation of acute phase proteins in the clinical stages of this experimental model, and here, we investigate changes in gene expression in whole blood, liver and brain.<h4>Results</h4>The animals in the scrapie group showed severe signs of illness 22 weeks post inoculation necessitating euthanasia at 23 weeks post inoculation. This severe clinical presentation was accompanied by changes in expression of several genes. The following genes were differentially expressed in whole blood: TLR2, TLR4, C3, IL1B, LF and SAA, in liver tissue, the following genes differentially expressed: TNF-?, SAA, HP, CP, AAT, TTR and TF, and in the brain tissue, the following genes were differentially expressed: HP, CP, ALB and TTR.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We report a strong and evident transcriptional innate immune response in the terminal stage of classical scrapie in these animals. The PRNP genotype and time of inoculation are believed to contribute to the clinical presentation, including the extensive dissemination of PrP<sup>Sc</sup> throughout the lymphatic tissue.
Project description:Prion diseases are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals, including scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The hallmark of prion diseases is the conversion of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)) to its pathological isoform PrP(Sc), which is accompanied by PrP fibrillation. Transmission is not restricted within one species, but can also occur between species. In some cases a species barrier can be observed that results in limited or unsuccessful transmission. The mechanism behind interspecies transmissibility or species barriers is not completely understood. To analyse this process at a molecular level, we previously established an in vitro fibrillation assay, in which recombinant PrP (recPrP) as substrate can be specifically seeded by PrP(Sc) as seed. Seeding with purified components, with no additional cellular components, is a direct consequence of the "prion-protein-only" hypothesis. We therefore hypothesise, that the species barrier is based on the interaction of PrP(C) and PrP(Sc). Whereas in our earlier studies, the interspecies transmission in animal systems was analysed, the focus of this study lies on the transmission from animals to humans. We therefore combined seeds from species cattle, sheep and deer (BSE, scrapie, CWD) with human recPrP. Homologous seeding served as a control. Our results are consistent with epidemiology, other in vitro aggregation studies, and bioassays investigating the transmission between humans, cattle, sheep, and deer. In contrast to CJD and BSE seeds, which show a seeding activity we can demonstrate a species barrier for seeds from scrapie and CWD in vitro. We could show that the seeding activity and therewith the molecular interaction of PrP as substrate and PrP(Sc) as seed is sufficient to explain the phenomenon of species barriers. Therefore our data supports the hypothesis that CWD is not transmissible to humans.
Project description:Transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) between cervids is influenced by the primary structure of the host cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). In white-tailed deer, PRNP alleles encode the polymorphisms Q95 G96 (wild type [wt]), Q95 S96 (referred to as the S96 allele), and H95 G96 (referred to as the H95 allele), which differentially impact CWD progression. We hypothesize that the transmission of CWD prions between deer expressing different allotypes of PrP(C) modifies the contagious agent affecting disease spread. To evaluate the transmission properties of CWD prions derived experimentally from deer of four PRNP genotypes (wt/wt, S96/wt, H95/wt, or H95/S96), transgenic (tg) mice expressing the wt allele (tg33) or S96 allele (tg60) were challenged with these prion agents. Passage of deer CWD prions into tg33 mice resulted in 100% attack rates, with the CWD H95/S96 prions having significantly longer incubation periods. The disease signs and neuropathological and protease-resistant prion protein (PrP-res) profiles in infected tg33 mice were similar between groups, indicating that a prion strain (Wisc-1) common to all CWD inocula was amplified. In contrast, tg60 mice developed prion disease only when inoculated with the H95/wt and H95/S96 CWD allotypes. Serial passage in tg60 mice resulted in adaptation of a novel CWD strain (H95(+)) with distinct biological properties. Transmission of first-passage tg60CWD-H95(+) isolates into tg33 mice, however, elicited two prion disease presentations consistent with a mixture of strains associated with different PrP-res glycotypes. Our data indicate that H95-PRNP heterozygous deer accumulated two CWD strains whose emergence was dictated by the PrP(C) primary structure of the recipient host. These findings suggest that CWD transmission between cervids expressing distinct PrP(C) molecules results in the generation of novel CWD strains.CWD prions are contagious among wild and captive cervids in North America and in South Korea. We present data linking the amino acid variant Q95H in white-tailed deer cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to the emergence of a novel CWD strain (H95(+)). We show that, upon infection, deer expressing H95-PrP(C) molecules accumulated a mixture of CWD strains that selectively propagated depending on the PRNP genotype of the host in which they were passaged. Our study also demonstrates that mice expressing the deer S96-PRNP allele, previously shown to be resistant to various cervid prions, are susceptible to H95(+) CWD prions. The potential for the generation of novel strains raises the possibility of an expanded host range for CWD.