Molecular barriers to zoonotic transmission of prions

Marcelo A. Barria, Aru Balachandran, Masanori Morita, Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, Rona Barron, Jean Manson, Richard Knight, James W. Ironside, Mark W. Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The risks posed to human health by individual animal prion diseases cannot be determined a priori and are difficult to address empirically. The fundamental event in prion disease pathogenesis is thought to be the seeded conversion of normal prion protein to its pathologic isoform. We used a rapid molecular conversion assay (protein misfolding cyclic amplification) to test whether brain homogenates from specimens of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), atypical BSE (H-type BSE and L-type BSE), classical scrapie, atypical scrapie, and chronic wasting disease can convert normal human prion protein to the abnormal disease-associated form. None of the tested prion isolates from diseased animals were as efficient as classical BSE in converting human prion protein. However, in the case of chronic wasting disease, there was no absolute barrier to conversion of the human prion protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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