Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Manganese Levels Increase In Scrapie-infected Sheep Before Clinical Symptoms Develop

Date:
July 4, 2007
Source:
University of Bath
Summary:
Sheep infected with scrapie and cows infected with BSE have elevated levels of manganese in their blood before clinical symptoms appear, according to new research.

Sheep infected with scrapie and cows infected with BSE have elevated levels of manganese in their blood before clinical symptoms appear, according to new research.

The findings, published in the Journal of Animal Science, also show that scrapie-resistant sheep produce elevated levels of the metal when “challenged” with the disease.

This suggests that elevated manganese levels in the blood and central nervous system are caused by the animal’s initial response to the disease.

The findings raise the possibility of using manganese levels in the blood as a potential diagnostic marker for prion infection. At present, only post-mortem examination of the brain tissue gives a certain diagnosis.

Scrapie, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) are neurodegenerative diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of sheep, cows and humans respectively.

They are transmitted by mis-formed prion proteins which cause tiny loss of brain cell in different regions of the brain, leading to impairment of brain function, including memory changes, personality changes and problems with movement that worsen over time.

“Definite diagnosis of prion disease is currently only possible post-mortem," said Professor David Brown from the University of Bath who led the study with colleagues from the universities of Hull and Edinburgh.

“These findings suggest that elevated blood manganese could be used as a robust diagnostic marker for prion infection, even before the onset of apparent clinical disease.

“In practice, however, it would be difficult implement a widespread screening programme, given that the mass spectrometry we use to measure levels is expensive and labour intensive.”

The research builds on the 2002 discovery that mice infected with scrapie have higher levels of manganese. This is the first time that tissue from farm animals infected with prion diseases have been studied in this way.

One of the most interesting findings from this study came from the analysis of blood samples from scrapie-resistant sheep.

When challenged with the disease, these sheep showed similar levels of manganese as non-resistant sheep challenged in the same way.

“Elevated levels of manganese in scrapie-resistant sheep imply that the change in blood manganese is a result of the scrapie challenge and not a consequence of scrapie pathology,” said Professor Brown, from the University of Bath’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry.

“Although these sheep are considered to be resistant to scrapie, they do show some indications that scrapie challenge results in similar metabolic changes as occur in non-resistant sheep.”

Another interesting finding was that although levels of manganese were elevated, there were differences in the blood levels of selenium and molybdenum in experimental and field cases of BSE in cows.

This suggests that the way a cow acquires the disease affects the metabolic processes involved.

“The origin of the increased manganese in the brains and blood of infected animals remains unknown,” said Professor Brown.

“The three possibilities are that there is decreased secretion of manganese from the body, release of manganese from other tissues or increased absorption of manganese from the environment.

“Currently there is insufficient evidence to favour any of these three theories.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bath. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bath. "Manganese Levels Increase In Scrapie-infected Sheep Before Clinical Symptoms Develop." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702145402.htm>.
University of Bath. (2007, July 4). Manganese Levels Increase In Scrapie-infected Sheep Before Clinical Symptoms Develop. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702145402.htm
University of Bath. "Manganese Levels Increase In Scrapie-infected Sheep Before Clinical Symptoms Develop." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702145402.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins