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Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals and Remain Infectious

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Subject: Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals and Remain Infectious
Date: April 14, 2006 at 7:10 am PST
Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals

and Remain Infectious

Christopher J. Johnson1,2, Kristen E. Phillips3, Peter T. Schramm3, Debbie McKenzie2, Judd M. Aiken1,2,

Joel A. Pedersen3,4*

1 Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 2 Department of Animal Health and Biomedical

Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 3 Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center,

University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 4 Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United

States of America

An unidentified environmental reservoir of infectivity contributes to the natural transmission of prion diseases

(transmissible spongiform encephalopathies [TSEs]) in sheep, deer, and elk. Prion infectivity may enter soil

environments via shedding from diseased animals and decomposition of infected carcasses. Burial of TSE-infected

cattle, sheep, and deer as a means of disposal has resulted in unintentional introduction of prions into subsurface

environments. We examined the potential for soil to serve as a TSE reservoir by studying the interaction of the diseaseassociated

prion protein (PrPSc) with common soil minerals. In this study, we demonstrated substantial PrPSc

adsorption to two clay minerals, quartz, and four whole soil samples. We quantified the PrPSc-binding capacities of

each mineral. Furthermore, we observed that PrPSc desorbed from montmorillonite clay was cleaved at an N-terminal

site and the interaction between PrPSc and Mte was strong, making desorption of the protein difficult. Despite

cleavage and avid binding, PrPSc bound to Mte remained infectious. Results from our study suggest that PrPSc released

into soil environments may be preserved in a bioavailable form, perpetuating prion disease epizootics and exposing

other species to the infectious agent.

Citation: Johnson CJ, Phillips KE, Schramm PT, McKenzie D, Aiken JM, et al. (2006) Prions adhere to soil minerals and remain infectious. PLoS Pathog 2(4): e32. DOI: 10.1371/

journal.ppat.0020032

Introduction

snip...

full text ;

PLoS Pathogens | http://www.plospathogens.org April 2006 | Volume 2 | Issue 4 | e32 0007

Sorption of Prions to Soil

http://pathogens.plosjournals.org/archive/1553-7374/2/4/pdf/10.1371_jour...

http://pathogens.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-pdf&file=10.1371...

Epidemiology Update March 23, 2006
As of today, 13 locations and 32 movements of cattle have been examined with
27 of those being substantially completed. Additional investigations of
locations and herds will continue. In addition, state and federal officials
have confirmed that a black bull calf was born in 2005 to the index animal
(the red cow). The calf was taken by the owner to a local stockyard in July
2005 where the calf died. The calf was appropriately disposed of in a local
landfill and did not enter the human or animal food chain.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bse/bse_al_epi-update.shtml

> The calf was appropriately disposed of in a local
> landfill and did not enter the human or animal food chain.

well, back at the ranch with larry, curly and mo heading up the USDA et al,
what would you expect, nothing less than shoot, shovel and shut the hell up.
no mad cow in USA, feed ban working, no civil war in Iraq either.

but what has past history shown us, evidently it has shown the USDA et al
nothing ;

http://www.prwatch.org/node/4624/print

TSS

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