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Is Nor98/atypical scrapie a contagious disease?

Hopp P, Bratberg B, Moldal T, Benestad SL. Skrapesyke Nor98 - er det en smittsom sykdom? Norsk Veterinær Tidsskrift 2010; 122: 14-24

The disease Nor98/atypical scrapie affects sheep and goats and it was first identified in Norway in 1998. The disease belongs to the group of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and is differentiated from classical scrapie based on the prion protein profile as demonstrated by Western blot. Clinically diseased animals will most often show signs from the locomotory apparatus or emaciation. Pruritus, which is a common sign of classical scrapie, is rarely reported from cases with Nor98/atypical scra­pie. Pathological changes, which are mainly located to the cerebellum or cerebrum, are characterised by vacuolisation and deposits of resistant prion protein in brain tissues. The medulla oblongata is usually unaf­fected in contrast to what is seen in classical scrapie. Horizontal transmission under natural conditions has never been detected. Although horizontal transmission cannot be excluded, the results of epidemiological and pathological studies of the disease are in agreement with a spontaneous origin of the disease, that is that the source of the agent is endogenous, and the disease is not dependent on an infectious external source.

NVI authors

Hopp Petter