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Antibodies specific for the obnormal isoform of the prion protein: their application to TSE diagnostic tests - SE1776

A major breakthrough in TSE diagnostics has been achieved by the production of monoclonal antibodies specific for the disease-associated abnormal PrP isoform by IDEXX Laboratories Inc. and Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc. The specificity of these antibodies has been unequivocally demonstrated at the laboratories of the VLA and IDEXX through the application of immunoaffinity precipitation of PK resistant PrP from BSE affected cattle brains and scrapie affected sheep brain homogenates. The availability of PrPSc -specific antibodies provides a probe with which to identify prion disease-associated PrPSc in the presence of a large excess of PrPC, as is thought to pertain to blood and some other peripheral organs. Antibodies reactive with the native conformation of PrPSc also obviate the need for a protease digestion step in assays for this molecule, the current basis of available tests for prion infection. This may be particularly important for the detection of PrPSc in peripheral compartments, or early in infection, considering that a majority of prion infectivity may be soluble and/or protease-sensitive.

Funding is sought for the development of diagnostic protocols utilising these antibodies for application to ante mortem detection of TSEs with particular emphasis on live animal testing. The proposal brings together the originators of the antibodies (IDEXX / Caprion) and the appropriate development and evaluation laboratory in the UK (VLA).The objectives of the project are summarised as:

1.To complete screening, identification and production of candidate antibodies
2.To confirm PrPSc specificity and select antibodies for test(s) development
3.To evaluate antibody performance in body fluids
4.To apply test formats
5.To assess diagnostic performance of test(s)
6To validate test(s)
Project Documents
• Final Report : Antibodies specific for the obnormal isoform of the prion protein: their application to TSE diagnostic tests   (2316k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2004

Cost: £323,303
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health