Scrapie Strain Variation and Its Implications

  • M. E. Bruce
  • H. Fraser
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 172)


Strain variation in scrapie was first recognised about 30 years ago, when experimental sheep scrapie was transmitted to and serially passaged in goats. Two separate passage lines were maintained which produced strikingly different clinical signs in unselected goats from the same herd, either a “drowsy” or a “scratching” syndrome (Pattison and Millson 1961). This difference between the two isolates remained constant on repeated goat-to-goat passage. Since then, overwhelming evidence for scrapie strain variation has accumulated, mainly from the long-term studies conducted in Edinburgh by Dickinson and coworkers (including ourselves), who have serially passaged scrapie from a wide range of natural and experimental sources in inbred mice (Dickinson 1976). About 20 strains of scrapie have been identified so far in mice, each with its own distinct and repeatable set of disease characteristics.


Short Incubation Period Mouse Genotype Scrapie Agent Scrapie Strain Scrapie Infectivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Bruce
    • 1
  • H. Fraser
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Animal HealthAFRC and MRC Neuropathogenesis UnitEdinburghUK

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