Publishing their findings in BioMed Central’s open access journal Proteome Science, the scientists hope that their discovery might lead to the development of a urine-based test that could prevent the precautionary slaughter of many animals as now occurs when the disease is detected.
The discovery of a new human variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), thought to be transmitted to humans via BSE-infected products, has resulted in many countries instituting extensive BSE testing programs for older animals. Diagnostic testing currently involves the detection of a misfolded “infectious” protein, or prion, in post-mortem brain tissue.
BSE has caused significant changes in the way beef products are produced and traded. If a simple and accurate urine test can be developed from this new knowledge, it could be performed on live animals and therefore may provide an alternative to current BSE surveillance procedures. It could also allow for the assessment of the health of breeding stock where post-mortem testing is not an option.
“We are hopeful that the knowledge that we’ve gained from this study will eventually lead to a live test,” says Dr. David Knox, a researcher at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. “It may be possible to develop similar tests for other species as well, including humans with Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD). A urine test for CJD could assist doctors to narrow down potential diagnoses for people with dementia”.
Knox led a team of researchers who have demonstrated that the “protein profile” of cattle urine samples can indicate the presence of a BSE infection as well as how far the disease has advanced. The scientists analysed the proteins in urine samples taken from four infected and four healthy cows of the same age over the course of the disease. The proteins from the healthy and infected samples were compared using a technique called two-dimensional differential-gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGETM)
In these preliminary results a single protein was able to distinguish between those infected and control animals. In addition, the relative abundance of a set of proteins could accurately determine how far the disease had advanced.
“Our work shows that it is possible to identify biomarkers in urine that could be useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression in BSE and related transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,” says Knox.
Charlotte Webber | alfa
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction