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Diagnosis, Pathogenesis and Antigenic and Genetic Interactions of Transmissible Encephalopathies


Develop control measures for sheep scrapie & cervid chronic wasting disease through improved diagnostic tests, identification of genes associated with lower susceptibility to disease, & definition of transmission routes thru cells & secreted molecules. Through interaction w/APHIS and regional & national sheep associations, provide for the validation of the nictating membrane biopsy technique for the preclinical diagnosis of scrapie.
<p>REPL: -32000-007-00D. FY Prgm Inc.($270,000) for Prion diseases, 1 new SY.

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Validate recently developed live animal test for scrapie in U.S. Suffolk sheep. Determine live animal test modifications necessary for testing other breeds of sheep in U.S. & abroad, and for testing mule deer, white tailed deer & elk for chronic wasting disease. Determine whether sheep with prion genetic polymorphisms associated with low susceptibility are resistant to disease or subclinical carriers. Identify the prion gene polymorphisms associated with chronic wasting disease in mule deer, white tailed deer and elk. Identify tissues and cell types of the reproductive tract & digestive system (including salivary tissues) which produce normal cellular prions, those which accumulate the scrapie-associated isoform of prion, & those involved in transmission of infectious prions to offspring & flockmates. Develop fluid-based assays for detecting normal & abnormal forms of prion protein in secretions. Develop and characterize reagents useful for screening ruminant-derived products entering the pharmaceutical chain.
<p>Pullman, WA, Bustad 336 & vivarium, USDA bldgs-airport Rd, BL-1: 11/23/98.

Hernlem, Bradley
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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