Infectivity will be assessed in skeletal muscle, sciatic nerve, lymph nodes, liver, heart, kidney and lung from Suffolk sheep clinically affected with naturally acquired scrapie, by bioassay in bank voles. Immunohistochemistry, Western blot, Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assays (ELISA) and PMCA techniques. Distribution in those same tissues will also be established and how this relates to infectivity.
Background:<BR>The Moredun Research Institute (MRI) sheep flock with a high force of natural scrapie infection, represents a unique source of tissues. The combined application of antibody-based and Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) techniques as well as bioassay to edible tissues will provide key information on their infectivity in TSE infected sheep. It is anticipated that these studies will provide new information that will be useful to risk assessors and will allow the optimisation of strategies to prevent TSE transmission to humans via the food chain, not only in the case of scrapie infection but also by extrapolation to other ovine TSEs.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.