All major prion types recognised by a multiplex immunofluorometric assay for disease screening and confirmation in sheep
Tang, Y.; gielbert, A.; Jacobs, J.G.; Baron, T.; Andreoletti, O.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Sauer, M.J.
Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in small ruminants are presented in many forms: classical scrapie, Nor98/atypical scrapie, CH1641 scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). We previously described a multiplex immunofluorometric assay (mIFMA), based on a bead array flow cytometry technology, which provided, in a single assay, discrimination between BSE (in cattle and sheep) and classical scrapie (Tang et al., 2010). In this study, we extended the mlFMA to differentiate classical scrapie, atypical scrapie, BSE (experimentally infected sheep and naturally infected cattle) and CH1641 (both experimental and natural CH1641-like infections in sheep). Three capture antibodies were used, two distinct PrP N-terminus specific antibodies 12B2 and 9A2, and a PrP core specific antibody 94B4. All three antibodies were shown to bind classical scrapie PrPres strongly, whereas in Nor98/atypical scrapie PrPres only 12B2 and 9A2 binding was observed. PrPres binding of 12B2 was low for both BSE and CH1641, as expected. Furthermore, analysis of serially diluted samples indicated that the assay provided a similar level of sensitivity for atypical scrapie as that found using a well established commercial test. Unexpectedly, 9A2 binding to CH1641 PrPres was reduced by 2.1 fold both for experimental CH1641 and CH1641-like scrapie when compared with BSE, suggesting that major cleavage of the N-terminus occurs further towards the C-terminus in CH1641 than in BSE. The ratios of 12B2/94B4 and 9A2/94B4 were similar between experimental CH1641 and CH1641-like cases, although two CH1641-like subjects displayed slightly elevated ratios of both 12B2/94B4 and 9A2/94B4. To verify this finding for PrPres, mass spectrometry based quantification was used to determine the absolute abundance of the peptides associated with all three antibody binding regions. There was a 2.2 fold reduction of peptides containing the 9A2 epitope for experimental CH1641 PrPres in comparison to BSE PrPres. Observation of reduced PrPres may serve as a new marker for CH1641. This mIFMA may thus provide the basis for simplified TSE diagnosis with capability for simultaneous screening and differential diagnosis