In vitro amplification and detection of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease PrPSc
ABSTRACT Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) poses a serious risk of secondary transmission and the need to detect infectivity in asymptomatic individuals is therefore of major importance. Following infection, it is assumed that minute amounts of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) replicate by conversion of the host cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). Therefore, methods of rapidly reproducing this conversion process in vitro would be valuable tools in the development of such tests. We show that one such technique, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), can amplify vCJD PrP(Sc) from human brain tissue, and that the degree of amplification is dependent upon the substrate PRNP codon 129 polymorphism. Both human platelets and transgenic mouse brain are shown to be suitable alternative substrate sources, and amplified PrP(Sc) can be detected using a conformation-dependent immunoassay (CDI), allowing the detection of putative proteinase K sensitive forms of PrP(Sc).
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ABSTRACT: The emergence of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) is considered a likely consequence of human dietary exposure to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) agent. More recently, secondary vCJD cases were identified in patients transfused with blood products prepared from apparently healthy donors who later went on to develop the disease. As there is no validated assay for detection of vCJD/BSE infected individuals the prevalence of the disease in the population remains uncertain. In that context, the risk of vCJD blood borne transmission is considered as a serious concern by health authorities. In this study, appropriate conditions and substrates for highly efficient and specific in vitro amplification of vCJD/BSE agent using Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) were first identified. This showed that whatever the origin (species) of the vCJD/BSE agent, the ovine Q171 PrP substrates provided the best amplification performances. These results indicate that the homology of PrP amino-acid sequence between the seed and the substrate is not the crucial determinant of the vCJD agent propagation in vitro. The ability of this method to detect endogenous vCJD/BSE agent in the blood was then defined. In both sheep and primate models of the disease, the assay enabled the identification of infected individuals in the early preclinical stage of the incubation period. Finally, sample panels that included buffy coat from vCJD affected patients and healthy controls were tested blind. The assay identified three out of the four tested vCJD affected patients and no false positive was observed in 141 healthy controls. The negative results observed in one of the tested vCJD cases concurs with results reported by others using a different vCJD agent blood detection assay and raises the question of the potential absence of prionemia in certain patients.PLoS Pathogens 06/2014; 10(6):e1004202. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004202 · 8.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using different prion strains, such as the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent and the atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy agents, and using transgenic mice expressing human or bovine prion protein, we assessed the reliability of protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to model interspecies and genetic barriers to prion transmission. We compared our PMCA results with in vivo transmission data characterized by attack rates, i.e., the percentage of inoculated mice that developed the disease. Using 19 seed/substrate combinations, we observed that a significant PMCA amplification was only obtained when the mouse line used as substrate is susceptible to the corresponding strain. Our results suggest that PMCA provides a useful tool to study genetic barriers to transmission and to study the zoonotic potential of emerging prion strains.Viruses 10/2014; 6(10):3766-3777. DOI:10.3390/v6103766 · 3.28 Impact Factor