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Assessing Erythroid Associated Factor (ERAF) as a Potential Marker for BSE

Institutions
Roslin Institute
Start date
2007
End date
2008
Objective
This study will investigate whether either ERAF or other erythroid specific transcripts have the potential to form the basis of diagnostic procedures for the identification of preclinical cases for BSE infected cattle and scrapie infected sheep.
More information
Background:
Currently the only reliable method for identifying TSE infections is by the post-mortem identification of the abnormal prion protein. This project continues research developed in FSA projects M03019 and M03020 which assessed the ERAF gene as a potential marker for BSE. This study will investigate whether ERAF which is found in blood can be used to reliably diagnose preclinical cases of BSE.

Research Approach:
Research projects M03019 and M03020 focussed on the use of a surrogate marker for TSE infection in blood. Research has previously shown a TSE dependent change in expression of an erythroid specific transcript termed ERAF (erythroid related factor). This study will investigate whether either ERAF or other erythroid specific transcripts have the potential to form the basis of diagnostic procedures for the identification of preclinical cases for BSE infected cattle and scrapie infected sheep. This study continues previous research with the objectives of:

  • Completing analysis of ERAF levels in blood of BSE-infected cattle and healthy controls.
  • Extending analysis of ERAF levels in bloods to scrapie-infected and healthy sheep.
  • Analysis of differential expression of seven novel erythroid transcripts in blood of BSE-infected and healthy cattle.
  • Characterise the additional proteins which were identified in M03019.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
M03061
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Viruses and Prions
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game