When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

PLOS BLOGS The Official PLOS Blog

BSE Case Associated with Prion Protein Gene Mutation

Last week, co-authors Jürgen Richt and S. Mark Hall published a groundbreaking article in PLoS Pathogens related to mad cow disease. The authors were both affiliated with the US Department of Agriculture during the completion of their study.

Through DNA sequence analysis, the authors identify a novel mutation in the bovine prion protein gene (Prnp), called E211K, in a cow confirmed with atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This is the first report of a confirmed case of BSE (mad cow disease) with a potential pathogenic mutation within the bovine Prnp gene. This mutation is identical to the E200K pathogenic mutation in the human Prnp, which has been described as the most common cause of genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Richt notes that the mutation can show up at any time, and therefore cattle herders must be on watch. He further recommends that herders try to breed the mutation out of cattle, in order to guard against future BSE-related cases.

About the paper Richt says, “Our BSE manuscript presents critical information on the origin of BSE and will help public and animal health authorities worldwide to design novel prophylactic strategies against this zoonotic pathogen. Your open-access journal is playing a critical role in the dissemination of this information.”

The paper was covered in Reuters and on ScienceBlogs, where the journal is properly attributed, as well as by CBC News and KBS of South Korea, among others.

 

Discussion
  1. Thanks for flagging this Manuscript up on the PLoS blog. I agree that this is groundbreaking research and I’ve been on record previously to congratulate USDA researchers for choosing to publish their work in PLoS.

    In my official capacity as below I cannot stress enough the importance of sharing such research in an open fashion. It is widely known that BSE is a rather political disease and several Goverments misled the public which caused an enormous amount of distrust generally.

    It is therefore most heartening to see more and more research (most of it publicly funded) being made freely available.

    Kind regards,

    Graham

    Graham Steel
    Information Resource Manager
    CJD International Support Alliance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Add your ORCID here. (e.g. 0000-0002-7299-680X)

Back to top