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From: TSS ()
Subject: BSE agent signatures in a goat
Date: April 20, 2005 at 10:44 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: BSE agent signatures in a goat
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 13:55:03 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

The Veterinary Record 156:523-524 (2005)
© 2005 British Veterinary Association



BSE agent signatures in a goat

Marc Eloit1, Karim Adjou1, Muriel Coulpier1, Jean Jacques Fontaine1,
Rodolphe Hamel1, Thomas Lilin1, Sebastien Messiaen1, Olivier
Andreoletti2, Thierry Baron3, Anna Bencsik3, Anne Gaelle Biacabe3,
Vincent Beringue4, Hubert Laude4, Annick Le Dur4, Jean Luc Vilotte4,
Emmanuel Comoy5, Jean Philippe Deslys5, Jacques Grassi6, Stephanie
Simon6, Frederic Lantier7 and Pierre Sarradin7

1 UMR 1161 INRA/AFSSA/ENVA, 7 avenue de Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons
Alfort, France
2 UMR INRA/ENVT 1225, École Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, 23 Chemin
des Capelles, 31076 Toulouse, France
3 AFSSA Lyon, avenue Tony Garnier, 69007 Lyon, France
4 INRA, VIM, Domaine de Vilvert, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
5 CEA, Neurovirologie, 92265 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
6 Service de Pharmacologie et d'Immunologie, CEA/Saclay, 91191
Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
7 INRA, UR918, 37380 Nouzilly, France

SIR, – One of the concerns about BSE is the potential presence of the
agent in small ruminants, sheep and goats, as well as cattle. With the
objective of documenting this, seven French laboratories have analysed
438 brain samples from confirmed cases of TSE in sheep and goats. These
comprised clinical cases recorded from 1990 (216), and samples collected
in the framework of active surveillance in 2002 (135 positive cases
among 27,085 goats tested) and 2003 (87 positive cases among 22,835
goats tested) at slaughter-houses or from fallen stock.

The samples were first screened by four biochemical tests which all
detect a common, albeit not completely specific, feature of the BSE
strain, that is, an increased sensitivity to proteinase K digestion of
the N-terminal part of PrPres as compared with most scrapie strains
(Stack and others 2002). Three different Western blot tests and one
ELISA were conducted independently in four different laboratories (Lezmi
and others 2004). Each sample was tested by at least three of the four
tests. For one goat sample (CH636), the four tests provided convergent
results, which were indistinguishable from those obtained with a control
sample from a sheep and/or a goat experimentally infected with BSE (Fig
Based on these criteria, CH636 was classified as a BSE suspect. Sequence
analysis of the DNA extracted from this sample evidenced only goat
sequences. The goat had been identified at an abattoir during the 2002
survey and belonged to a flock comprising 310 other goats. No PrPres was
detected in the brain or lymphoid organs of all remaining goats, whose
carcases were destroyed.

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FIG 1: (a) Western blotting of the brains of CH636, cattle BSE, goat
experimental BSE and goat scrapie showing differential binding of the
N-terminal P4 and the core Bar 233 antibodies (Ab) (Lezmi and others
2004). (b) Mean lesion profiles (Fraser and Dickinson 1968) in RIII (n=9
per isolate) and tga20 (n=12 per isolate) mice for CH636, ovine BSE
(ovBSE) and goat scrapie (CH95). Mean (sd) incubation times (days) were
as follows in RIII and tga20 mice, respectively: CH636 330 (14), 330
(45); ovine BSE 332 (17), 389 (60); goat scrapie 425 (36), 422 (39). (c)
Western blotting of the brain of the first passage in mice of CH636,
ovine BSE (ovBSE) and goat scrapie (CH95)

The same CH636 brain extract was inoculated by the intracerebral route
into four strains of wild-type mice (RIII and C57BL/6) and transgenic
mice (tga20 [Fischer and others 1996] or tg540 [J. L. Vilotte,
unpublished data]) overexpressing the murine or bovine gene of PrP,
respectively, in four different laboratories. Incubation times were all
compatible with those recorded for experimental ovine BSE. A
characteristic feature of BSE is the specific lesion profile, which has
been described in RIII mice (Bruce and others 1997). The CH636 lesion
profile was identical to this profile, also observed in parallel with
experimental ovine BSE. The same observation was made in tga20 mice, but
the specificity of this signature is not known (Fig 1b
Western blot profiles in mice were indistinguishable from those obtained
with experimental ovine BSE; in particular, the lower unglycosylated
band from ovine BSE and CH636 agents co-migrated with an apparent
molecular mass of 20 kDa, differing from that of most sheep scrapie
isolates transmitted to the same mice (21 kDa) (Laude 2004) (Fig 1c

For the first time, a field goat case appears indistinguishable from a
BSE isolate on the basis of all identification criteria available. It is
impossible to conclude whether the origin of the contamination was
linked to BSE-contaminated feed, or whether it reflects the presence of
this strain in goats preceding the emergence of BSE in cattle.
Nevertheless, the presence of this strain in a goat underscores the need
to reassess the risks to human health linked to the consumption of small
ruminant products.

The work was supported by the GIS prions and the French Ministry of
Agriculture. We acknowledge the contribution of the EU TSE Community
Reference Laboratory expert group, chaired by Dr D. Matthews, for
helpful discussion on the results, and the scientists of the Veterinary
Laboratories Agency and the Institute for Animal Health who confirmed
our RIII lesion scores in a blind study. Nora Hunter kindly provided the
BSE strain passaged in goats. We also thank Céline Barc, Thanh Lan Laï,
Hervé Le Roux, Sandrine Melo and Fabienne Reine for their technical help.


######### ##########


Reuters, FRANCE: April 20, 2005
France to Boost Tests for Mad Cow Disease in Goats
PARIS - France will step up testing goats for possible mad cow infection after an animal health agency found that more such cases may be uncovered, but no date has been set so far, the farm ministry said on Tuesday.


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