Exploring permeability of human species barrier to circulating TSE agent (ongoing)

Last updated:
17 March 2007
This research project aims to explore the abilities of a number of different TSE isolates including cattle BSE, atypical BSE in cattle, atypical scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting disease in deer. It will also examine the potential alteration of permeability of human species barrier for prions that have adapted to a species other than their natural host, for example experimental BSE in sheep.
Study duration: March 2007 to February 2013
Project code: FS231051 (M03043)
Contractor: ENVT


The species barrier has appeared to be efficient for limiting propagation of the TSE agent between animal species. One consequence of such a barrier is the apparent absence of natural transmission from a number of animal TSE agents to humans, however, that statement remains essentially based on epidemiological observations. Very little data is available in this field, however, in the case of cattle BSE its ability to cross the species barrier has been demonstrated. The recent discovery of atypical forms of BSE in cattle as well as atypical forms of scrapie in sheep raise the question of their transmissibility to humans.

Research Approach

The research will use Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assays and western blot techniques to characterisation phenotypic features that are linked to a strain of TSE agent.


Additional Info


Published Papers

  1. Padilla, D., Béringue, V., Espinosa, J.C., Andréoletti, O., Jaumain, E., Reine, F., Herzog, L., Gutierrez-Adan, A., Pintado B., Laude H. & Torres J.M. (2011) Sheep and goat BSE propagate more efficiently than cattle BSE in human PrP transgenic mice. Published online PLoS Pathogens 7: e1001319
  2. Espinosa, J.C., Herva, M.E., Andréoletti, O., Padilla, D., Lacroux,C., Cassard, H., Lantier, I., Castilla, J. & Torres, J.M. (2009) Transgenic mice expressing porcine prion protein resistant to classical scrapie but susceptible to sheep bovine spongiform encephalopathy and atypical scrapie. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15, 1214-21