Article Text

Detection of classical and atypical/Nor98 scrapie by the paraffin-embedded tissue blot method
  1. W. M. Wemheuer, DVM1,
  2. S. L. Benestad, PhD2,
  3. A. Wrede, MD1,
  4. W. E. Wemheuer, DVM3,
  5. B. Brenig, DVM3,
  6. B. Bratberg, DVM2 and
  7. W. J. Schulz-Schaeffer, MD1
  1. 1 Prion and Dementia Research Unit, Department of Neuropathology, University Medical Centre, Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
  2. 2 Department of Pathology, National Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3 Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty for Agricultural Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37075 Götingen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Schulz-Schaeffer, e-mail: wjschulz{at}


The paraffin-embedded tissue (PET) blot method was used to investigate sections of the central nervous system and lymphatic tissues from 24 cases of classical scrapie and 25 cases of atypical/Nor98 scrapie in sheep and four healthy control sheep. The PET blot detected deposits of PrPSc in the brain tissue of all 49 sheep with scrapie but no PrPSc labelling could be detected in the control sheep. By contrast, not all the atypical/Nor98 scrapie cases were detectable by immunohistochemistry. The high sensitivity of the PET blot method made it possible to observe that in some atypical/Nor98 cases, deposits of PrPSc may be restricted to supratentorial brain structures and that the diagnosis may be missed when only testing the obex area, where deposits are common in classical scrapie, and the cerebellar structures, where deposits are considered to be common in atypical/Nor98 cases.

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