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Neurofilament concentration in serum is a biomarker for scrapie

H. Zetterberg, E. Bozzetta, A. Favole and others

PLoS ONE (2019) 14

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226697

• What did the research find?

The median serum neurofilament light (NfL) concentration in sheep with scrapie was found to be more than 15 times higher than that found in sheep without scrapie. Moreover, the serum NfL concentration in scrapie-affected sheep that had clinical signs did not significantly differ from that of scrapie-affected sheep without clinical signs. A cut-off value of 31 pg/ml serum NfL was able to distinguish scrapie-affected sheep from unaffected sheep with 95 per cent accuracy.

• How was it conducted?

Blood samples were collected from nine sheep with scrapie (two of which had clinical signs) and 11 healthy sheep before slaughter. Scrapie was initially diagnosed by ELISA of medulla oblongata samples and then confirmed by western blot. Serum NfL concentrations were measured using an ultrasensitive single-molecule array on an HD-1 analyser, and the diagnostic efficiency of NfL as a biomarker for scrapie was then assessed using receiver operating characteristic curve analyses.

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