Scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are both prion diseases affecting ruminants, and these diseases do not share the same public health concerns. Surveillance of the BSE agent in small ruminants has been a great challenge, and the recent identification of diverse prion diseases in ruminants has led to the development of new methods for strain typing. In our study, using immunohistochemistry (IHC), we assessed the distribution of PrPd in the brains of 2 experimentally BSE-infected sheep with the ARQ/ARQ genotype. Distribution of PrPd in the brain, from the spinal cord to the frontal cortex, was remarkably similar in the 2 sheep despite different inoculation routes and incubation periods. Comparatively, overall PrPd brain distribution, evaluated by IHC, in 19 scrapie cases with the ARQ/ARQ, ARQ/VRQ, and VRQ/VRQ genotypes, in some cases showed similarities to the experimentally BSE-infected sheep. There was no exclusive neuroanatomical site with a characteristic and specific PrPd type of accumulation induced by the BSE agent. However, a detailed analysis of the topography, types, and intensity of PrPd deposits in the frontal cortex, striatum, piriform cortex, hippocampus, mesencephalon, and cerebellum allowed the BSE-affected sheep group to be distinguished from the 19 scrapie cases analyzed in our study. These results strengthen and emphasize the potential interest of PrPd brain mapping to help in identifying prion strains in small ruminants.
- sheep TSE
ASJC Scopus subject areas