Publications by authors named "Mark P Dagleish"

68 Publications

Novel Dermatitis and Relative Viral Nucleic Acid Tissue Loads in a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) with Systemic Cetacean Morbillivirus Infection.

J Comp Pathol 2021 Feb 19;183:57-62. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik.

Cetacean morbilliviruses (CeMVs) are significant causes of mortality in many cetacean species in epizootics and smaller outbreaks. Despite the prominence of skin lesions in seals and terrestrial animals, including humans, affected by other morbilliviruses, they have not been reported in CeMV-infected cetaceans. Here we report CeMV-associated skin lesions in a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) with subacute, systemic CeMV infection that live-stranded in Scotland, UK. Grossly, the skin was sloughing in large sheets, presumed due to autolysis, but histological examination showed syncytia, below the dermoepidermal junction, that were strongly immunopositive for morbillivirus antigen, as were syncytia in other organs. By polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the relative load of CeMV-specific RNA was largest in the liver and urinary bladder, even in formalin-fixed, paraffin-wax embedded samples. Levels were low in skin and only detectable in frozen samples. Genetic comparison of the CeMV revealed close alignment with isolates from fin whales from the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, but that it was distinct from the porpoise CeMV clade. These findings show skin samples can be used to diagnose CeMV infection in cetaceans, highlighting the potential of ante-mortem sampling for monitoring disease in current populations and assessment of changes in host and pathogen genetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2021.01.005DOI Listing
February 2021

Novel Presentation of DMV-Associated Encephalitis in a Long-Finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas).

J Comp Pathol 2021 Feb 19;183:51-56. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Edinburgh, UK.

Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is an important global cause of morbidity and mortality in cetacean populations, with four pathological presentations including non-suppurative encephalitis. We describe an unusual case of dolphin morbillivirus (DMV)-associated non-suppurative encephalitis in a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), in which the lesions were orientated on the periventricular white matter and comprised prominent multifocal syncytia formation in the absence of systemic lesions. DMV RNA was detected in brain tissue by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry for morbillivirus antigen yielded intense labelling of syncytia in periventricular sites, with sparse involvement of the deeper neuroparenchyma. The pattern of lesions raises the possibility of viral dissemination through the cerebrospinal fluid, as described for canine distemper virus, suggesting that similar pathogenic mechanisms may be implicated in lesion development. Further investigation is required to establish the pathogenesis of CeMV encephalitis and the behaviour of the virus within the central nervous system of cetaceans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2021.01.004DOI Listing
February 2021

Novel Arterivirus Associated with Outbreak of Fatal Encephalitis in European Hedgehogs, England, 2019.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 Feb;27(2):578-581

In the fall of 2019, a fatal encephalitis outbreak led to the deaths of >200 European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in England. We used next-generation sequencing to identify a novel arterivirus with a genome coding sequence of only 43% similarity to existing GenBank arterivirus sequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2702.201962DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7853545PMC
February 2021

Neurobrucellosis due to Brucella ceti ST26 in Three Sowerby's Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon bidens).

J Comp Pathol 2021 Jan 24;182:1-8. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Fatal meningoencephalitis due to Brucella ceti infection has been described in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus), short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), which are all within the family Delphinidae. We report B. ceti-associated neurobrucellosis in three juvenile male Sowerby's beaked whales (Mesoplodon bidens) that all had typical lesions of lymphocytic meningoencephalitis, which increased in severity from rostral to caudal regions of the brain. In two cases there was loss of ependymal cells lining the cerebral ventricular system, with large numbers of lymphocytes in the underlying neuropil. This finding suggests that B. ceti gains access to, and multiplies in, the cerebrospinal fluid, and confirms that this is the sample of choice for bacteriological recovery of the causative organism. These findings expand the increasing range of cetaceans susceptible to neurobrucellosis to members of the family Ziphiidae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2020.10.005DOI Listing
January 2021

Intrasarcoplasmic Polyglucosan Inclusions in Heart and Skeletal Muscles of Long-Finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas) may be Age-Related.

J Comp Pathol 2020 Nov 26;181:18-25. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Penicuik, Scotland, UK; Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, UK.

Polysaccharide storage myopathies have been described in several animal species and are characterized by periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive, diastase-resistant intrasarcoplasmic inclusions in myocytes. Skeletal and cardiac muscle samples from a subset of a single pod of stranded long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) were evaluated by light and transmission electron microscopy. Twelve individuals demonstrated sporadic basophilic packets of PAS-positive, diastase-resistant complex polysaccharide material, either centrally or peripherally, in skeletal and cardiac myocytes. Few microscopic myopathic changes were found but included focal inflammation and internalized nuclei. Ultrastructurally, the inclusions consisted of loosely arranged, tangled filaments and were not membrane-bound, which is consistent with polyglucosan inclusions. Within skeletal muscle, the number of inclusions had a marginal statistically significant (P = 0.0536) correlation with length, as a proxy for age, suggesting that such inclusions in skeletal muscles may be age-related, although the cause remains unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2020.09.011DOI Listing
November 2020

Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus and C. pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum recovered from abscesses in pinnipeds.

Dis Aquat Organ 2020 Nov 19;142:41-46. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

SRUC Veterinary Services, An Lochran, 10 Inverness Campus, Inverness IV2 5NA, UK.

Campylobacter pinnipediorum was described recently for isolates recovered from pinnipeds. The novel species was further split into 2 subspecies based on host and geography, with C. pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum recovered from otariid seals in California (USA) and C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus recovered from phocid seals in Scotland. We report details of the infections of 7 pinnipeds from which C. pinnipediorum was isolated: C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus was isolated from 2 harbour seals Phoca vitulina and a single grey seal Halichoerus grypus, and C. pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum was isolated from California sea lions Zalophus californianus. Six of the isolates were recovered from samples collected at post-mortem investigation. In 2 of the Scottish seals and in 3 of the California seals, C. pinnipediorum was the sole bacterial isolate recovered from abscesses present and suggests they may have resulted from conspecific or intraspecific bite wounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03544DOI Listing
November 2020

Comparison of histologic methods for the detection of spores in the gills of Atlantic salmon.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2020 Jan 18;32(1):142-146. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Scotland, UK (Herrero, Dagleish, Thompson).

is a microsporidian associated with gill disease in farmed Atlantic salmon (). Detection of the parasite in histologic tissue sections is challenging using common histochemical stains given that the small, widely distributed parasite spores typically occur individually or in small clusters. We compared the ability of 4 histologic methods to detect spores in serial sections of Atlantic salmon gill tissue: hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), Gram-Twort (GT), calcofluor white (CW), and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Using CW as a benchmark to calculate a relative ratio, IHC consistently detected more spores than CW (median: 1.3), followed by GT (median: 0.2) and H&E (median: 0.1). IHC detected significantly more spores than GT ( < 0.05) and H&E ( < 0.05), and GT more than H&E ( < 0.05). We found significant underestimation of numbers of microsporidia spores in gill disease in Atlantic salmon using conventional histochemical stains and recommend the use of CW or IHC to detect the parasite in tissue sections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638719887707DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7003232PMC
January 2020

Forensic microbiology reveals that Neisseria animaloris infections in harbour porpoises follow traumatic injuries by grey seals.

Sci Rep 2019 10 11;9(1):14338. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathobiology, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, 3584CL, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Neisseria animaloris is considered to be a commensal of the canine and feline oral cavities. It is able to cause systemic infections in animals as well as humans, usually after a biting trauma has occurred. We recovered N. animaloris from chronically inflamed bite wounds on pectoral fins and tailstocks, from lungs and other internal organs of eight harbour porpoises. Gross and histopathological evidence suggest that fatal disseminated N. animaloris infections had occurred due to traumatic injury from grey seals. We therefore conclude that these porpoises survived a grey seal predatory attack, with the bite lesions representing the subsequent portal of entry for bacteria to infect the animals causing abscesses in multiple tissues, and eventually death. We demonstrate that forensic microbiology provides a useful tool for linking a perpetrator to its victim. Moreover, N. animaloris should be added to the list of potential zoonotic bacteria following interactions with seals, as the finding of systemic transfer to the lungs and other tissues of the harbour porpoises may suggest a potential to do likewise in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50979-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6789040PMC
October 2019

Transcriptional Response of Ovine Lung to Infection with Jaagsiekte Sheep Retrovirus.

J Virol 2019 11 15;93(21). Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) is the etiologic agent of ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), a neoplastic lung disease of sheep. OPA is an important economic and welfare issue for sheep farmers and a valuable naturally occurring animal model for human lung adenocarcinoma. Here, we used RNA sequencing to study the transcriptional response of ovine lung tissue to infection by JSRV. We identified 1,971 ovine genes differentially expressed in JSRV-infected lung compared to noninfected lung, including many genes with roles in carcinogenesis and immunomodulation. The differential expression of selected genes was confirmed using immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR. A key finding was the activation of anterior gradient 2, yes-associated protein 1, and amphiregulin in OPA tumor cells, indicating a role for this oncogenic pathway in OPA. In addition, there was differential expression of genes related to innate immunity, including genes encoding cytokines, chemokines, and complement system proteins. In contrast, there was little evidence for the upregulation of genes involved in T-cell immunity. Many genes related to macrophage function were also differentially expressed, reflecting the increased abundance of these cells in OPA-affected lung tissue. Comparison of the genes differentially regulated in OPA with the transcriptional changes occurring in human lung cancer revealed important similarities and differences between OPA and human lung adenocarcinoma. This study provides valuable new information on the pathogenesis of OPA and strengthens the use of this naturally occurring animal model for human lung adenocarcinoma. Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma is a chronic respiratory disease of sheep caused by jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV). OPA is a significant economic problem for sheep farmers in many countries and is a valuable animal model for some forms of human lung cancer. Here, we examined the changes in host gene expression that occur in the lung in response to JSRV infection. We identified a large number of genes with altered expression in infected lung, including factors with roles in cancer and immune system function. We also compared the data from OPA to previously published data from human lung adenocarcinoma and found a large degree of overlap in the genes that were dysregulated. The results of this study provide exciting new avenues for future studies of OPA and may have comparative relevance for understanding human lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00876-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6803282PMC
November 2019

Widespread neonatal infection with phocid herpesvirus 1 in free-ranging and stranded grey seals Halichoerus grypus.

Dis Aquat Organ 2019 Mar;133(3):181-187

Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh EH26 0PZ, UK.

Phocid herpesvirus 1 (PhHV-1) is known to infect grey seals Halichoerus grypus but little is known about its pathogenicity or true prevalence in this species. To investigate the prevalence of and risk factors associated with PHV-1 infection, nasal swabs were collected from grey seal pups and yearlings on the Isle of May, a well-studied grey seal breeding colony, and from stranded grey seal pups submitted to a rehabilitation centre. PhHV-1 nucleic acids were detected in nasal swabs from 58% (52/90) of live free-ranging grey seal pups, 62% (18/29) of live stranded grey seal pups and 28% (5/18) of live free-ranging yearlings, suggesting recrudescence in the latter. Location within the colony, pup body mass and stranding were determined to be risk factors for shedding PhHV-1 in live seal pups with a significantly higher prevalence of PhHV-1 in pups born on the tidal boulder beach when compared to other sites; a significantly positive correlation of PhHV-1 shedding and pup body mass and a higher prevalence in stranded grey seal pups compared to their free-ranging conspecifics. The prevalence of PhHV1 in dead pups on the Isle of May was 56% (27/48) with a positive PhHV-1 PCR status significantly associated with hepatic necrosis (p = 0.01), thymic atrophy (p < 0.001) and buccal ulceration (p = 0.027). Results indicate that PhHV1 was widespread in the pups in the Isle of May grey seal breeding colony.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03345DOI Listing
March 2019

FERLAVIRUS-RELATED DEATHS IN A COLLECTION OF VIPERID SNAKES.

J Zoo Wildl Med 2018 12;49(4):983-995

Between June and October 2013, 26 snakes of six viperid species kept in two adjoining rooms died ( n = 16) or were euthanized on medical (1) or welfare grounds (9). Two were from the main zoo collection, but the other 24 had been imported and quarantined for a minimum of 6 mo. Four of those that died and the single snake euthanized on medical grounds showed minor signs of respiratory disease prior to death, and five were weak, lethargic, and/or poor feeders. Frequent postmortem findings among all snakes were poor body condition (18) and respiratory disease (13). Seventeen cases were examined histologically, and pneumonia, sometimes with air sacculitis and/or tracheitis, was present in 15 individuals. Lung samples from 24 snakes were ferlavirus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive, and one of the two snakes for which only liver was available was also positive. The negative liver sample was from a snake that died of sepsis following anesthesia for surgical removal of a spindle cell sarcoma. Correlation with antemortem PCR testing of glottal and cloacal swabs in five cases was poor (sensitivity = 40%). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for ferlaviruses on the tissues of 13 PCR-positive cases showed positive labeling in 7 only. Tissues samples from 22 ferlavirus PCR-positive snakes were examined for Chlamydia species by PCR, and 9 were positive, although DNA sequencing only confirmed two of three tested as Chlamydia pneumoniae. Immunohistochemistry for Chlamydia pneumoniae of seven cases (two Chlamydiales PCR positive, one of which was sequenced as C. pneumoniae, plus five negative) confirmed the Chlamydia PCR results. These two Chlamydiales PCR and IHC positive snakes were ferlavirus PCR positive, but IHC negative suggesting that, even though a ferlavirus was the predominant cause of the outbreak, in a few cases death may have been due to chlamydiosis with ferlavirus present, but not acting as the primary pathogen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2017-0223.1DOI Listing
December 2018

First isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis and detection of Brucella antibodies from bearded seals Erignathus barbatus.

Dis Aquat Organ 2018 Mar;128(1):13-20

SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, Drummondhill, Stratherrick Road, Inverness IV2 4JZ, UK.

Brucella species infecting marine mammals was first reported in 1994 and in the years since has been documented in various species of pinnipeds and cetaceans. While these reports have included species that inhabit Arctic waters, the few available studies on bearded seals Erignathus barbatus have failed to detect Brucella infection to date. We report the first isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis from a bearded seal. The isolate was recovered from the mesenteric lymph node of a bearded seal that stranded in Scotland and typed as ST24, a sequence type associated typically with pinnipeds. Furthermore, serological studies of free-ranging bearded seals in their native waters detected antibodies to Brucella in seals from the Chukchi Sea (1990-2011; 19%) and Svalbard (1995-2007; 8%), whereas no antibodies were detected in bearded seals from the Bering Sea or Bering Strait or from captive bearded seals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03211DOI Listing
March 2018

First confirmation by PCR of Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus in Ireland and prevalence of ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma in adult sheep at slaughter.

Ir Vet J 2017;70:33. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Laboratories, Backweston Laboratory Campus, Celbridge, Co. Kildare W23 X3PH Ireland.

Background: Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), caused by Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV), is characterised by the development of invariably fatal lung tumours primarily in adult sheep. High infection rates and disease prevalence can develop during initial infection of flocks, leading to on-farm economic losses and animal welfare issues in sheep with advanced disease. The disease has been reported in Ireland and is notifiable, but the presence of JSRV has never been confirmed using molecular methods in this country. Additionally, due to the difficulties in ante-mortem diagnosis (especially of latently-infected animals, or those in the very early stages of disease), accurate information regarding national prevalence and distribution is unavailable. This study aimed to confirm the presence of JSRV in Ireland and to obtain estimates regarding prevalence and distribution by means of an abattoir survey utilising gross examination, histopathology, JSRV-specific reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and SU protein specific immunohistochemistry (IHC) to examine the lungs of adult sheep.

Results: Lungs from 1911 adult sheep were examined macroscopically in the abattoir and 369 were removed for further testing due to the presence of gross lesions of any kind. All 369 were subject to histopathology and RT-PCR, and 46 to IHC. Thirty-one lungs (31/1911, 1.6%) were positive for JSRV by RT-PCR and/or IHC but only ten cases of OPA were confirmed (10/1911, 0.5%) Four lung tumours not associated with JSRV were also identified. JSRV-positive sheep tended to cluster within the same flocks, and JSRV-positive sheep were identified in the counties of Donegal, Kerry, Kilkenny, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford and Wicklow.

Conclusions: The presence of JSRV has been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland for the first time using molecular methods (PCR) and IHC. In addition, an estimate of OPA prevalence in sheep at slaughter and information regarding distribution of JSRV infection has been obtained. The prevalence estimate appears similar to that of the United Kingdom (UK). Results also indicate that the virus has a diverse geographical distribution throughout Ireland. These data highlights the need for further research to establish national control and monitoring strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13620-017-0111-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5735933PMC
December 2017

Neglected zoonotic agents in cattle abortion: tackling the difficult to grow bacteria.

BMC Vet Res 2017 Dec 2;13(1):373. Epub 2017 Dec 2.

Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Laenggassstrasse 122, CH-3012, Bern, Switzerland.

Background: Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydia abortus and Leptospira spp. are difficult to grow bacteria that play a role in bovine abortion, but their diagnosis is hampered by their obligate intracellular lifestyle (C. burnetii, C. abortus) or their lability (Leptospira spp.). Their importance is based on the contagious spread in food-producing animals, but also as zoonotic agents. In Switzerland, first-line routine bacteriological diagnostics in cattle abortions is regulated by national law and includes only basic screening by staining for C. burnetii due to the high costs associated with extended spectrum analysis. The aim of this study was to assess the true occurrence of these zoonotic pathogens in 249 cases of bovine abortion in Switzerland by serology (ELISA for anti-C. burnetii and C. abortus antibodies and microscopic agglutination test for anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies), molecular methods (real-time PCR and sequencing of PCR products of Chlamydiales-positive cases), Stamp's modification of the Ziehl-Neelsen (mod-ZN) stain and, upon availability of material, by histology and immunohistochemistry (IHC).

Results: After seroanalysis the prevalence was 15.9% for C. burnetii, 38.5% for C. abortus and 21.4% for Leptospira spp. By real-time PCR 12.1% and 16.9% of the cases were positive for C. burnetii and Chlamydiales, respectively, but only 2.4% were positive for C. burnetii or Chlamydiales by mod-ZN stain. Sequencing of PCR products of Chlamydiales-positive cases revealed C. abortus in 10% of cases and the presence of a mix of Chlamydiales-related bacteria in 5.2% of cases. Pathogenic Leptospira spp. were detected in 5.6% of cases. Inflammatory lesions were present histologically in all available samples which were real-time PCR-positive for Chlamydiales and Leptospira spp. One of 12 real-time PCR-positive cases for C. burnetii was devoid of histological lesions. None of the pathogens could be detected by IHC.

Conclusion: Molecular detection by real-time PCR complemented by histopathological analysis is recommended to improve definitive diagnosis of bovine abortion cases and determine a more accurate prevalence of these zoonotic pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-017-1294-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5712085PMC
December 2017

Approach To Identify Key Amino Acids in Low Susceptibility of Rabbit Prion Protein to Misfolding.

J Virol 2017 12 30;91(24). Epub 2017 Nov 30.

CIC bioGUNE, Derio, Bizkaia, Spain

Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders caused by an abnormally folded prion protein (PrP). This is capable of transforming the normal cellular prion protein (PrP) into new infectious PrP Interspecies prion transmissibility studies performed by experimental challenge and the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy that occurred in the late 1980s and 1990s showed that while some species (sheep, mice, and cats) are readily susceptible to TSEs, others are apparently resistant (rabbits, dogs, and horses) to the same agent. To study the mechanisms of low susceptibility to TSEs of certain species, the mouse-rabbit transmission barrier was used as a model. To identify which specific amino acid residues determine high or low susceptibility to PrP propagation, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), which mimics PrP-to-PrP conversion with accelerated kinetics, was used. This allowed amino acid substitutions in rabbit PrP and accurate analysis of misfolding propensities. Wild-type rabbit recombinant PrP could not be misfolded into a protease-resistant self-propagating isoform despite seeding with at least 12 different infectious prions from diverse origins. Therefore, rabbit recombinant PrP mutants were designed to contain every single amino acid substitution that distinguishes rabbit recombinant PrP from mouse recombinant PrP. Key amino acid residue substitutions were identified that make rabbit recombinant PrP susceptible to misfolding, and using these, protease-resistant misfolded recombinant rabbit PrP was generated. Additional studies characterized the mechanisms by which these critical amino acid residue substitutions increased the misfolding susceptibility of rabbit PrP. Prion disorders are invariably fatal, untreatable diseases typically associated with long incubation periods and characteristic spongiform changes associated with neuronal loss in the brain. Development of any treatment or preventative measure is dependent upon a detailed understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases, and understanding the mechanism by which certain species appear to be resistant to TSEs is critical. Rabbits are highly resistant to naturally acquired TSEs, and even under experimental conditions, induction of clinical disease is not easy. Using recombinant rabbit PrP as a model, this study describes critical molecular determinants that confer this high resistance to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01543-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5709604PMC
December 2017

Brucella ceti Infection in a Common Minke Whale ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) with Associated Pathology.

J Wildl Dis 2017 07 18;53(3):572-576. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

2 World Organisation for Animal Health/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization Reference Laboratory for Brucellosis, Department of Bacteriology, Animal and Plant Health Agency, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.

There are three major lineages of marine mammal strains of Brucella spp.: Brucella ceti ST23, found predominantly in porpoises; B. ceti ST26, in pelagic delphinids and ziphiids; and Brucella pinnipedialis ST24/25, predominantly in seals. The isolation of Brucella spp. in mysticetes has been described only in common minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) in Norway and Scotland. We report a third case of Brucella infection and isolation in a minke whale associated with a large abscess. In contrast to the two previous reports that involved isolates of B. pinnipedialis ST24 or the porpoise-associated B. ceti complex ST23, this case was associated with the dolphin-associated B. ceti ST26. Thus, minke whales can be infected naturally with members of all the distinct major lineages of Brucella associated with marine mammals. This report is unique in that the B. ceti ST26 did not originate from a pelagic delphinid or a beaked whale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2016-08-200DOI Listing
July 2017

Analysis of Campylobacter jejuni infection in the gnotobiotic piglet and genome-wide identification of bacterial factors required for infection.

Sci Rep 2017 03 10;7:44283. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

University of Glasgow, Veterinary School, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

To investigate how Campylobacter jejuni causes the clinical symptoms of diarrhoeal disease in humans, use of a relevant animal model is essential. Such a model should mimic the human disease closely in terms of host physiology, incubation period before onset of disease, clinical signs and a comparable outcome of disease. In this study, we used a gnotobiotic piglet model to study determinants of pathogenicity of C. jejuni. In this model, C. jejuni successfully established infection and piglets developed an increased temperature with watery diarrhoea, which was caused by a leaky epithelium and reduced bile re-absorption in the intestines. Further, we assessed the C. jejuni genes required for infection of the porcine gastrointestinal tract utilising a transposon (Tn) mutant library screen. A total of 123 genes of which Tn mutants showed attenuated piglet infection were identified. Our screen highlighted a crucial role for motility and chemotaxis, as well as central metabolism. In addition, Tn mutants of 14 genes displayed enhanced piglet infection. This study gives a unique insight into the mechanisms of C. jejuni disease in terms of host physiology and contributing bacterial factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep44283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345035PMC
March 2017

Experimental challenge of pregnant cattle with the putative abortifacient Waddlia chondrophila.

Sci Rep 2016 11 14;6:37150. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, Midlothian, United Kingdom.

Waddlia chondrophila is a Gram-negative intracellular bacterial organism that is related to classical chlamydial species and has been implicated as a cause of abortion in cattle. Despite an increasing number of observational studies linking W. chondrophila infection to cattle abortion, little direct experimental evidence exists. Given this paucity of direct evidence the current study was carried out to investigate whether experimental challenge of pregnant cattle with W. chondrophila would result in infection and abortion. Nine pregnant Friesian-Holstein heifers received 2 × 10 inclusion forming units (IFU) W. chondrophila intravenously on day 105-110 of pregnancy, while four negative-control animals underwent mock challenge. Only one of the challenged animals showed pathogen-associated lesions, with the organism being detected in the diseased placenta. Importantly, the organism was re-isolated and its identity confirmed by whole genome sequencing, confirming Koch's third and fourth postulates. However, while infection of the placenta was observed, the experimental challenge in this study did not confirm the abortifacient potential of the organism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep37150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5107887PMC
November 2016

Chronic wasting disease of deer - is the battle to keep Europe free already lost?

Authors:
Mark P Dagleish

Vet Rec 2016 Jul;179(5):121-3

President Veterinary Deer Society, Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Edinburgh EH26 0PZ, UK, e-mail:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.i4165DOI Listing
July 2016

A post-mortem study of respiratory disease in small mustelids in south-west England.

BMC Vet Res 2016 Apr 6;12:72. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH26 0PZ, UK.

Background: Stoat (Mustela erminea) and weasel (Mustela nivalis) populations in south-west England are declining whilst polecats (Mustela putorius), absent for over a century, are increasing. Little is known about the health status of these species nationally. This study aimed at investigating respiratory disease in specimens found dead in south-west England.

Results: Trauma caused by road traffic, predator attack or being trapped was the predominant cause of death in 42 stoats, 31 weasels and 20 polecats; most were in good physical condition. Skrjabingylus nasicola was present in all species (weasels 37%, polecats 39%, stoats 41%) and infected animals showed no evidence of loss of body condition. Even in carcases stored frozen L1 larvae were frequently alive and highly motile. Angiostrongylus vasorum infection was diagnosed in two stoats and one weasel: in stoats infections were patent and the lung lesions were likely of clinical significance. These are believed to be the first records of A. vasorum in small mustelids. Pleuritis and pyothorax was seen in two polecats, in one case due to a migrating grass awn. Histological examination of lungs showed granulomata in stoats (38%), weasels (52%) and polecats (50%). Spherules consistent with Emmonsia spp. adiaspores were present in the granulomata of stoats (60%), weasels (36%) and polecats (29%). Adiaspore diameter in all three species was similar (means: stoats 39 μm, weasels 30 μm, polecats 36 μm); these are markedly smaller than that normally recorded for E. crescens. Although they lie within the accepted range for spores of Emmonsia parva this arid-zone species is not found in Britain, thus raising a question over the identity of the fungus. Cases showing numerous granulomata but few or no adiaspores were Ziehl-Neelsen-stain negative for acid-fast bacilli and IHC negative for Mycobacterium spp. However, in some cases PCR analyses revealed mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium kumamotonense and Mycobacterium avium Complex. One stoat had numerous unidentified small organisms present centrally within granulomata.

Conclusions: Stoats, weasels and polecats in south-west England share several respiratory diseases, often of high prevalence, but the pathology would appear insufficient to impact on the health status of the populations and other ultimate causes of death should be investigated when examining these species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0693-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4823880PMC
April 2016

Salmonella infection in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), a marine mammal sentinel species: pathogenicity and molecular typing of Salmonella strains compared with human and livestock isolates.

Environ Microbiol 2016 Mar 4;18(3):1078-87. Epub 2016 Feb 4.

Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH26 0PZ, UK.

Microbial pollution of the marine environment through land-sea transfer of human and livestock pathogens is of concern. Salmonella was isolated from rectal swabs of free-ranging and stranded grey seal pups (21.1%; 37/175) and compared with strains from the same serovars isolated from human clinical cases, livestock, wild mammals and birds in Scotland, UK to characterize possible transmission routes using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multi-locus variable number of tandem repeat analyses. A higher prevalence of Salmonella was found in pups exposed to seawater, suggesting that this may represent a source of this pathogen. Salmonella Bovismorbificans was the most common isolate (18.3% pups; 32/175) and was indistinguishable from isolates found in Scottish cattle. Salmonella Typhimurium was infrequent (2.3% pups; 4/175), mostly similar to isolates found in garden birds and, in one case, identical to a highly multidrug resistant strain isolated from a human child. Salmonella Haifa was rare (1.1% pups; 2/175), but isolates were indistinguishable from that of a human clinical isolate. These results suggest that S. Bovismorbificans may circulate between grey seal and cattle populations and that both S. Typhimurium and S. Haifa isolates are shared with humans, raising concerns of microbial marine pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.13219DOI Listing
March 2016

Stability of murine scrapie strain 87V after passage in sheep and comparison with the CH1641 ovine strain.

J Gen Virol 2015 Dec;96(12):3703-3714

Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA-Lasswade), Pentlands Science Park, Penicuik EH26 0PZ, UK.

Breed- and prion protein (PRNP) genotype-related disease phenotype variability has been observed in sheep infected with the 87V murine scrapie strain. Therefore, the stability of this strain was tested by inoculating sheep-derived 87V brain material back into VM mice. As some sheep-adapted 87V disease phenotypes were reminiscent of CH1641 scrapie, transgenic mice (Tg338) expressing ovine prion protein (PrP) were inoculated with the same sheep-derived 87V sources and with CH1641. Although at first passage in VM mice the sheep-derived 87V sources showed some divergence from the murine 87V control, all the characteristics of murine 87V infection were recovered at second passage from all sheep sources. These included 100 % attack rates and indistinguishable survival times, lesion profiles, immunohistochemical features of disease-associated PrP accumulation in the brain and PrP biochemical properties. All sheep-derived 87V sources, as well as CH1641, were transmitted to Tg338 mice with identical clinical, pathological, immunohistochemical and biochemical features. While this might potentially indicate that sheep-adapted 87V and CH1641 are the same strain, profound divergences were evident, as murine 87V was unable to infect Tg338 mice but was lethal for VM mice, while the reverse was true for CH1641. These combined data suggest that: (i) murine 87V is stable and retains its properties after passage in sheep; (ii) it can be isolated from sheep showing a CH1641-like or a more conventional scrapie phenotype; and (iii) sheep-adapted 87V scrapie, with conventional or CH1641-like phenotype, is biologically distinct from experimental CH1641 scrapie, despite the fact that they behave identically in a single transgenic mouse line.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.000305DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410112PMC
December 2015

First report of Brucella ceti-associated meningoencephalitis in a long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas.

Dis Aquat Organ 2015 Oct;116(3):237-41

Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, SAC Consulting, Veterinary Services, Drummondhill, Inverness, Scotland, IV2 4JZ, UK.

Fatal Brucella ceti infection with histological lesions specific to the central nervous system has been described in only 3 species of cetaceans: striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba, Atlantic white-sided dolphins Lagenorhynchus acutus and short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis. This paper describes the first report of a B. ceti-associated meningoencephalitis in a long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas, showing the increasing range of species susceptibility. Brucella was recovered in larger numbers from cerebrospinal fluid than from brain tissue and is the sample of choice for isolation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02926DOI Listing
October 2015

Assessment of the rabbit as a wildlife reservoir of bovine viral diarrhea virus: serological analysis and generation of trans-placentally infected offspring.

Front Microbiol 2015 23;6:1000. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

Vaccines and Diagnostics, Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park Midlothian, UK.

Eradication of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is ongoing in many European countries and is based on removal of persistently infected (PI) cattle. In this context, low-level risks, including alternative reservoirs of infection, may become more important as the number of BVDV-free herds increases. Alternative reservoirs include livestock, such as sheep and goats, as well as wildlife, including deer and rabbits. Due to the extensive nature of the beef industry in Scotland, where an eradication program started in 2010, contact between cattle and alternative reservoir hosts is common. Seroprevalence to BVDV in rabbit populations can be high. In addition, rabbits can be infected with BVDV by natural routes, indicating that they could be a wildlife reservoir of infection. We analyzed the potential risk to livestock from rabbit populations in the UK by two approaches. First, ∼260 serum samples from free-ranging wild rabbits in Scotland and northern England were tested for BVDV-specific antibodies by ELISA. Only three samples exhibited low level BVDV-specific reactivity, suggesting that BVDV infection of rabbits was not frequent. Second, rabbits were challenged with BVDV at day 7 or 12 of pregnancy. This did not lead to any clinical signs in the infected animals or obvious increases in abortion or stillbirth in the infected dams. Samples from the dams, placental material and ∼130 offspring were tested by BVDV-specific RT-PCR and antibody ELISA. Positive PCR results in the placentas and in the tissues and body fluids of rabbits up to 10 days old showed that trans-placental infection of rabbits with BVDV had occurred. Many of the offspring had BVDV-specific antibodies. These data support the view that a wildlife reservoir of BVDV in rabbit poses a small but non-zero risk of re-infection for BVDV-free cattle herds. Rabbits are susceptible to infection with BVDV but only a small proportion of free-living rabbits in the UK appear to have been infected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4585287PMC
October 2015

Isolation of Brucella ceti from a Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas) and a Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoploden bidens).

J Wildl Dis 2015 Oct 18;51(4):868-71. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

1  Scottish Agricultural College Consulting Veterinary Services, Drummondhill, Stratherrick Road, Inverness IV2 4JZ, UK.

Brucella ceti is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that has been recovered from several species of cetaceans in the world's oceans over the past 20 yr. We report the recovery of B. ceti from a Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoploden bidens) and a long-finned pilot whale (Globicehala melas). Recovery from the testis of a long-finned pilot whale provides further evidence of potential for B. ceti infection to impact the reproductive success of cetaceans, many of which are threatened species. The addition of another two cetacean species to the growing number from which B. ceti has been recovered also further emphasizes the concern for human infections with this organism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2014-04-112DOI Listing
October 2015

Transgenic Mouse Bioassay: Evidence That Rabbits Are Susceptible to a Variety of Prion Isolates.

PLoS Pathog 2015 Aug 6;11(8):e1004977. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

CIC bioGUNE, Parque tecnológico de Bizkaia, Derio, Bizkaia, Spain; IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain.

Interspecies transmission of prions is a well-established phenomenon, both experimentally and under field conditions. Upon passage through new hosts, prion strains have proven their capacity to change their properties and this is a source of strain diversity which needs to be considered when assessing the potential risks associated with consumption of prion contaminated protein sources. Rabbits were considered for decades to be a prion resistant species until proven otherwise recently. To determine the extent of rabbit susceptibility to prions and to assess the effects of passage of different prion strains through this species a transgenic mouse model overexpressing rabbit PrPC was developed (TgRab). Intracerebral challenges with prion strains originating from a variety of species including field isolates (ovine SSBP/1 scrapie, Nor98- scrapie; cattle BSE, BSE-L and cervid CWD), experimental murine strains (ME7 and RML) and experimentally obtained ruminant (sheepBSE) and rabbit (de novo NZW) strains were performed. On first passage TgRab were susceptible to the majority of prions (Cattle BSE, SheepBSE, BSE-L, de novo NZW, ME7 and RML) tested with the exception of SSBP/1 scrapie, CWD and Nor98 scrapie. Furthermore, TgRab were capable of propagating strain-specific features such as differences in incubation periods, histological brain lesions, abnormal prion (PrPd) deposition profiles and proteinase-K (PK) resistant western blotting band patterns. Our results confirm previous studies proving that rabbits are not resistant to prion infection and show for the first time that rabbits are susceptible to PrPd originating in a number of other species. This should be taken into account when choosing protein sources to feed rabbits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1004977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4527758PMC
August 2015

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma: a large animal model for human lung cancer.

ILAR J 2015 ;56(1):99-115

Gehad Youssef, BSc, is a research scientist at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK. William A. H. Wallace, MBChB(Hons), PhD, FRCPE, FRCPath, is a consultant pathologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Honorary Reader in Pathology, Edinburgh University, UK; Mark P. Dagleish BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS, FRCPath, is Head of Pathology at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK. Chris Cousens, PhD, is a senior research scientist at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK, and David J. Griffiths, PhD, is a principal research scientist at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Recent progress in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of this disease has resulted in novel therapeutic strategies targeting specific groups of patients. Further studies are required to provide additional advances in diagnosis and treatment. Animal models are valuable tools for studying oncogenesis in lung cancer, particularly during the early stages of disease where tissues are rarely available from human cases. Mice have traditionally been used for studying lung cancer in vivo, and a variety of spontaneous and transgenic models are available. However, it is recognized that other species may also be informative for studies of cancer. Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) is a naturally occurring lung cancer of sheep caused by retrovirus infection and has several features in common with adenocarcinoma of humans, including a similar histological appearance and activation of common cell signaling pathways. Additionally, the size and organization of human lungs are much closer to those of sheep lungs than to those of mice, which facilitates experimental approaches in sheep that are not available in mice. Thus OPA presents opportunities for studying lung tumor development that can complement conventional murine models. Here we describe the potential applications of OPA as a model for human lung adenocarcinoma with an emphasis on the various in vivo and in vitro experimental systems available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ilar/ilv014DOI Listing
March 2016

Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus infection of lung slice cultures.

Retrovirology 2015 Apr 9;12:31. Epub 2015 Apr 9.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) is the causative agent of ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), a transmissible neoplastic disease of sheep. OPA is an economically important veterinary disease and is also a valuable naturally occurring animal model of human lung cancer, with which it shares a similar histological appearance and the activation of common cell signaling pathways. Interestingly, the JSRV Env protein is directly oncogenic and capable of driving cellular transformation in vivo and in vitro. Previous studies of JSRV infection in cell culture have been hindered by the lack of a permissive cell line for the virus. Here, we investigated the ability of JSRV to infect slices of ovine lung tissue cultured ex vivo.

Results: We describe the use of precision cut lung slices from healthy sheep to study JSRV infection and transformation ex vivo. Following optimization of the culture system we characterized JSRV infection of lung slices and compared the phenotype of infected cells to natural field cases and to experimentally-induced OPA tumors from sheep. JSRV was able to infect cells within lung slices, to produce new infectious virions and induce cell proliferation. Immunohistochemical labeling revealed that infected lung slice cells express markers of type II pneumocytes and phosphorylated Akt and ERK1/2. These features closely resemble the phenotype of natural and experimentally-derived OPA in sheep, indicating that lung slice culture provides an authentic ex vivo model of OPA.

Conclusions: We conclude that we have established an ex vivo model of JSRV infection. This model will be valuable for future studies of JSRV replication and early events in oncogenesis and provides a novel platform for studies of JSRV-induced lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12977-015-0157-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419405PMC
April 2015

Correlation between infectivity and disease associated prion protein in the nervous system and selected edible tissues of naturally affected scrapie sheep.

PLoS One 2015 25;10(3):e0122785. Epub 2015 Mar 25.

Department of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy.

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.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122785PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4373927PMC
March 2016

Susceptibility of European red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus) to alimentary challenge with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

PLoS One 2015 23;10(1):e0116094. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency Lasswade, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Near Edinburgh EH26 0PZ, United Kingdom.

European red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus) are susceptible to the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, one of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, when challenged intracerebrally but their susceptibility to alimentary challenge, the presumed natural route of transmission, is unknown. To determine this, eighteen deer were challenged via stomach tube with a large dose of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent and clinical signs, gross and histological lesions, presence and distribution of abnormal prion protein and the attack rate recorded. Only a single animal developed clinical disease, and this was acute with both neurological and respiratory signs, at 1726 days post challenge although there was significant (27.6%) weight loss in the preceding 141 days. The clinically affected animal had histological lesions of vacuolation in the neuronal perikaryon and neuropil, typical of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Abnormal prion protein, the diagnostic marker of transmissible encephalopathies, was primarily restricted to the central and peripheral nervous systems although a very small amount was present in tingible body macrophages in the lymphoid patches of the caecum and colon. Serial protein misfolding cyclical amplification, an in vitro ultra-sensitive diagnostic technique, was positive for neurological tissue from the single clinically diseased deer. All other alimentary challenged deer failed to develop clinical disease and were negative for all other investigations. These findings show that transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to European red deer via the alimentary route is possible but the transmission rate is low. Additionally, when deer carcases are subjected to the same regulations that ruminants in Europe with respect to the removal of specified offal from the human food chain, the zoonotic risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, from consumption of venison is probably very low.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0116094PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4304823PMC
May 2016