2013-04-22Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/1386
Foodborne Transmission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to Nonhuman Primates
Risk for human exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)–inducing agent was estimated in a nonhuman primate model. To determine attack rates, incubation times, and molecular signatures, we orally exposed 18 macaques to 1 high dose of brain material from cattle with BSE. Several macaques were euthanized at regular intervals starting at 1 year postinoculation, and others were observed until clinical signs developed. Among those who received ≥5 g BSE-inducing agent, attack rates were 100% and prions could be detected in peripheral tissues from 1 year postinoculation onward. The overall median incubation time was 4.6 years (3.7–5.3). However, for 3 macaques orally exposed on multiple occasions, incubation periods were at least 7–10 years. Before clinical signs were noted, we detected a non-type 2B signature, indicating the existence of atypical prion protein during the incubation period. This finding could affect diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and might be relevant for retrospective studies of positive tonsillectomy or appendectomy specimens because time of infection is unknown.
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