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From: TSS ()
Subject: FATEPRIDE (SEAC 97/4)
Date: July 14, 2007 at 9:11 am PST

35. The Chair explained that FATEPriDE is a multi-centre European
Union funded project that examined the possible influence of
environmental trace elements on the occurrence of TSEs.
36. Professor David Brown (University of Bath) explained that the
project had principally studied potential interactions between prion
disease and copper and manganese, although interactions with
other environmental factors such as organophosphates had also
been assessed. No link, other than with manganese, between
many environmental factors studied, including organophosphates,
and TSEs was found. The key experiments and findings had been
summarised in SEAC paper 97/4. The main conclusions were that
manganese binds to PrP with similar affinity to known manganese
binding proteins, induces conformational change in PrP, catalyses
PrP aggregation, induces protease resistance in PrP, increases
PrP expression levels and increases cellular susceptibility to prion
infection. Manganese had also been found at high levels on farms
with a high classical scrapie incidence and manganese was found
to increase the stability of PrP in soil. Although it had been the
intention to create maps of bioavailable manganese and compare
those to similar maps of TSE hotspots, this had not been possible
as no data of sufficient precision relating the location of BSE or
scrapie cases was made available. Further studies were required
to investigate the interactions of manganese and prions.

37. Members noted that the study suggested an association between
high levels of bioavailable manganese, low levels of bioavailable
copper and classical scrapie in field studies. However, it was likely
that other factors such as soil pH and organic matter may also be
involved. It was acknowledged that it was very difficult in
environmental studies to exclude potential confounding factors.
The experimental and field data suggested that manganese may
influence the susceptibility to TSEs.

However, there was no
evidence that environmental factors, including manganese, cause

38. Members noted that data on BSE should allow spatial mapping of
cases, however sheep movements were so complex that it is not
possible to create similar maps for classical or atypical scrapie.
39. Members suggested that further research could investigate the
differential stability of a range of TSE agents bound with
manganese in soil, although other modifying factors in soil such as
© SEAC 2006
soil content and pH are likely. In addition, further animal studies
could examine the effect of manganese on a range of TSE agents.


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