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Gill J.L.,University College London | James V.M.,University College London | James V.M.,Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology | Carta E.,University College London | And 5 more authors.
Animal Genetics | Year: 2012

Two newborn Belgian Blue calves from a farm in the United Kingdom exhibited lateral recumbency, low head carriage and transient muscle spasms following tactile or auditory stimulation. DNA sequence analysis indicated that both calves were homozygous for the recessive congenital muscular dystonia type 2 (CMD2) mutation (c.809T>C, p.Leu270Pro) in SLC6A5, encoding the neuronal glycine transporter GlyT2. Further testing of animals from the index farm and a sample of Belgian Blue sires revealed an unexpectedly high frequency of CMD2 carriers. This implies that linked quantitative trait loci may be influencing the prevalence of CMD2 in the estimated 55 000 Belgian Blue cattle in the United Kingdom. We have therefore developed new inexpensive tests for the CMD2 allele that can be used to confirm diagnosis, identify carriers and guide future breeding strategy, thus avoiding animal distress/premature death and minimizing the future economic impact of this disorder. © 2011 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2011 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.


Andreoletti O.,National Veterinary School of Toulouse | Litaise C.,National Veterinary School of Toulouse | Simmons H.,VLA Weybridge | Corbiere F.,National Veterinary School of Toulouse | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2012

It is now clearly established that the transfusion of blood from variant CJD (v-CJD) infected individuals can transmit the disease. Since the number of asymptomatic infected donors remains unresolved, inter-individual v-CJD transmission through blood and blood derived products is a major public health concern. Current risk assessments for transmission of v-CJD by blood and blood derived products by transfusion rely on infectious titers measured in rodent models of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) using intra-cerebral (IC) inoculation of blood components. To address the biological relevance of this approach, we compared the efficiency of TSE transmission by blood and blood components when administrated either through transfusion in sheep or by intra-cerebral inoculation (IC) in transgenic mice (tg338) over-expressing ovine PrP. Transfusion of 200 μL of blood from asymptomatic infected donor sheep transmitted prion disease with 100% efficiency thereby displaying greater virulence than the transfusion of 200 mL of normal blood spiked with brain homogenate material containing 103ID50 as measured by intracerebral inoculation of tg338 mice (ID50 IC in tg338). This was consistent with a whole blood titer greater than 103.6 ID50 IC in tg338 per mL. However, when the same blood samples were assayed by IC inoculation into tg338 the infectious titers were less than 32 ID per mL. Whereas the transfusion of crude plasma to sheep transmitted the disease with limited efficacy, White Blood Cells (WBC) displayed a similar ability to whole blood to infect recipients. Strikingly, fixation of WBC with paraformaldehyde did not affect the infectivity titer as measured in tg338 but dramatically impaired disease transmission by transfusion in sheep. These results demonstrate that TSE transmission by blood transfusion can be highly efficient and that this efficiency is more dependent on the viability of transfused cells than the level of infectivity measured by IC inoculation. © 2012 Andréoletti et al.


Gonzalez L.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency VLA | Siso S.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency VLA | Monleon E.,University of Zaragoza | Casalone C.,University of Bologna | And 9 more authors.
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2010

Variability of pathological phenotypes within classical sheep scrapie cases has been reported for some time, but in many instances it has been attributed to differences in the PRNP genotype of the host. To address this issue we have examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB) for the disease-associated form of the prion protein (PrPd), the brains of 23 sheep from five European countries, all of which were of the same ARQ/ARQ genotype. As a result of IHC examinations, sheep were distributed into five groups with different phenotypes and the groups were the same regardless of the scoring method used, 'long' or 'short' PrPd profiling. The groups made did not respond to the geographical origin of the cases and did not correlate with the vacuolar lesion profiles, which showed a high individual variability. Discriminatory IHC and WB methods coincided to detect a 'CH1641-like' case but otherwise correlated poorly in the classification of disease phenotypes. No other polymorphisms of the PRNP gene were found that could account for the pathological differences, except perhaps for a sheep from Spain with a mutation at codon 103 and a unique pathological phenotype. Preliminary evidence indicates that those different IHC phenotypes correlate with distinct biological properties on bioassay, suggesting that they are indicative of strain diversity. We therefore conclude that natural scrapie strains exist and that they can be revealed by detailed pathological examinations, which can be harmonized between laboratories to produce comparable results. © 2010 Crown copyright.


Oura C.A.L.,Institute for Animal Health | Wood J.L.N.,University of Cambridge | Floyd T.,University of Cambridge | Sanders A.J.,Institute for Animal Health | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2010

Widespread vaccination programmes against Bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8), using inactivated vaccines, are being carried out across many countries in northern, western and southern Europe. This study investigates the extent and length of colostral antibody protection, as well as the degree of colostral antibody induced interference of the immune response to BTV-8, in sheep. Significantly lower titres of neutralising antibodies were transferred in colostrum to lambs born from sheep vaccinated once as opposed those vaccinated twice (single vaccine in the first year and a booster vaccine in the second year). On BTV-8 challenge, lambs born from sheep vaccinated on two occasions, with the second booster vaccine given approximately 1 month prior to lambing, were protected from clinical disease for up to 14 weeks. BTV-8 was isolated from 5 of the 22 challenged lambs, although only one of these lambs showed a transient rise in body temperature with no other clinical signs. Lambs born from ewes given a second booster vaccine 1 month prior to lambing, are likely to be protected from clinical disease for at least 14 weeks, whereas lambs born from ewes vaccinated once are likely to be protected for a shorter time. Colostral antibodies present in the 13-14-week-old lambs appeared to interfere with the humoral response to challenge virus. These results suggest that colostral antibodies may interfere with vaccination in lambs up to at least 14 weeks of age. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Berg S.,VLA Weybridge | Garcia-Pelayo M.C.,VLA Weybridge | Muller B.,Stellenbosch University | Hailu E.,Armauer Hansen Research Institute | And 33 more authors.
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2011

We have identified a clonal complex of Mycobacterium bovis isolated at high frequency from cattle in Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. We have named this related group of M. bovis strains the African 2 (Af2) clonal complex of M. bovis. Af2 strains are defined by a specific chromosomal deletion (RDAf2) and can be identified by the absence of spacers 3 to 7 in their spoligotype patterns. Deletion analysis of M. bovis isolates from Algeria, Mali, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, and Mozambique did not identify any strains of the Af2 clonal complex, suggesting that this clonal complex of M. bovis is localized in East Africa. The specific spoligotype pattern of the Af2 clonal complex was rarely identified among isolates from outside Africa, and the few isolates that were found and tested were intact at the RDAf2 locus. We conclude that the Af2 clonal complex is localized to cattle in East Africa. We found that strains of the Af2 clonal complex of M. bovis have, in general, four or more copies of the insertion sequence IS6110, in contrast to the majority of M. bovis strains isolated from cattle, which are thought to carry only one or a few copies. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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