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Persistence of ovine scrapie infectivity in a farm environment following cleaning and decontamination
  1. Steve A. C. Hawkins, MIBiol, Pathology Department1,
  2. Hugh A. Simmons, BVSc MRCVS, MBA, MA Animal Services Unit1,
  3. Kevin C. Gough, BSc, PhD2 and
  4. Ben C. Maddison, BSc, PhD3
  1. 1Animal and Plant Health Agency, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
  2. 2School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK
  3. 3ADAS UK, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: ben.maddison{at}adas.co.uk

Abstract

Scrapie of sheep/goats and chronic wasting disease of deer/elk are contagious prion diseases where environmental reservoirs are directly implicated in the transmission of disease. In this study, the effectiveness of recommended scrapie farm decontamination regimens was evaluated by a sheep bioassay using buildings naturally contaminated with scrapie. Pens within a farm building were treated with either 20,000 parts per million free chorine solution for one hour or were treated with the same but were followed by painting and full re-galvanisation or replacement of metalwork within the pen. Scrapie susceptible lambs of the PRNP genotype VRQ/VRQ were reared within these pens and their scrapie status was monitored by recto-anal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. All animals became infected over an 18-month period, even in the pen that had been subject to the most stringent decontamination process. These data suggest that recommended current guidelines for the decontamination of farm buildings following outbreaks of scrapie do little to reduce the titre of infectious scrapie material and that environmental recontamination could also be an issue associated with these premises.

  • Scrapie
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE)
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