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Observations on the transmission of scrapie in experiments using embryo transfer
  1. J. D. Foster, BSc1,
  2. N. Hunter, BSc, DIC, PhD1,
  3. A. Williams, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS1,
  4. M. J. A. Mylne, BVMS, MRCVS2,
  5. W. A. C. McKelvey, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS2,
  6. J. Hope, BSc, ARCS, MSc, DIC, PhD1,
  7. H. Fraser, PhD, MA, BVetMed, FRCPath, MRCVS1 and
  8. C. Bostock, BSc, PhD3
  1. 1 Institute for Animal Health, BBSRC and MRC Neuropathogenesis Unit, Ogston Building, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JF
  2. 2 Scottish Agricultural College, Veterinary Services Division, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 OPH
  3. 3 BBSRC Institute for Animal Health, Compton Laboratory, Reading, Berkshire RG16 ONN

Abstract

This investigation studied the maternal transmission of scrapie in sheep by using embryo transfer to examine the viability of highly susceptible offspring derived from scrapieaffected and uninfected donors. The study also examined the effect of washing the embryos. Scrapie occurred in both washed and unwashed embryo-derived Sip sAsA progeny from both groups of donor ewes. As a result, the earlier observation that scrapie might pass via the unwashed embryo to develop as disease in adult sheep has to be reassessed. Several other implications of the work are considered, including the possibility that natural scrapie is not purely a genetic disease.

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