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Natural scrapie: detection of fibrils in extracts from the central nervous system of sheep
  1. MJ Stack,
  2. AC Scott,
  3. SH Done and
  4. M Dawson
  1. Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey.


Extracts from the cervical spinal cord and from the medulla, thalamus, cerebellum and cerebral cortex of the brains of 10 sheep, histopathologically confirmed as cases of scrapie, were examined by electron microscopy for the presence of scrapie-associated fibrils. Characteristic fibrils were observed in all the extracts except for that from the thalamus of one sheep. No fibrils were found in any extracts from three control sheep. A comparison of these results with a similar study of 22 cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) suggests that in cases of scrapie the area of the brain chosen for the detection of fibrils is less critical than in cases of BSE, in which fibrils are more readily extracted from areas of the brain stem.

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