Wildlife Disease and Zoonotics


Date of this Version



Published in J Vet Diagn Invest 15:157–162 (2003)


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from a 3-year-old female Angora goat suffering from clinical scrapie were immunostained after hydrated autoclaving using a monoclonal antibody (mAb, F99/ 97.6.1; IgG1) specific for a conserved epitope on the prion protein. Widespread and prominent deposition of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) was observed in the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, retina, postganglionic neurons associated with parasympathetic ganglia of myenteric and submucosal plexuses, Peyer’s patches, peripheral lymph nodes, and pharyngeal and palatine tonsils. The goat was homozygous for PrP alleles encoding 5 octapeptide repeat sequences in the N-terminal region of the prion protein and isoleucine at codon 142, a genotype associated with high susceptibility and short incubation times in goats. The results of this study indicate that mAb F99/97.6.1 is useful for detection of PrPSc deposition, and this is a specific and reliable immunohistochemical adjunct to histopathology for diagnosis of natural caprine scrapie, although precise determination of the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the assay as a diagnostic test for scrapie in goats will require examination of a sufficiently large sample size. As with ovine scrapie, prion protein is widely distributed in the central and peripheral nervous systems, gastrointestinal tract, and lymphoid tissues in natural caprine scrapie.