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Volume 19, Number 5—May 2013


Foodborne Transmission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to Nonhuman Primates

Edgar HolznagelComments to Author , Barbara Yutzy, Walter Schulz-Schaeffer, Carina Kruip, Uwe Hahmann, Pär Bierke, Juan-Maria Torres, Yong-Sun Kim, Achim Thomzig, Michael Beekes, Gerhard Hunsmann, and Johannes Loewer
Author affiliations: Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen, Germany (E. Holznagel, B. Yutzy, C. Kruip, J. Loewer); University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany (W. Schulz-Schaeffer); German Primate Centre, Göttingen (U. Hahmann, G. Hunsmann); Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden (P. Bierke); Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, Madrid, Spain (J.-M. Torres); Hallym University, Anyang, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea (Y.-S. Kim); Robert-Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany (A. Thomzig, M. Beekes)

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Table 2

Characteristics of oral inoculation of 5-year-old macaques with BSE-inducing or mock brain material *

Macaque Sex BSE
dose, g Euthanized, y postinoculation 14-3-3p–positive CSF PrPres pattern
(brain) PrPres pattern (spinal cord C1–T12) PrPres pattern
(spinal cord L1–L4)
Group I (clinically infected)†
S1 F 5 4.3 Yes 2B 2B 2B
S2 F 5 4.6 Yes 2B 2B 2B
S3 M 5 4.7 Yes 2B 2B 2B
S4 F 5 4.8 Yes 2B 2B 2B
S5 F 5 5.2 Yes 2B 2B 2B
S6‡ F 16 3.7 Yes 2B 2B 2B
S7 F 16 4.5 Yes 2B 2B 2B
Group II (preclinical)§
S9 M 5 1.0 No Neg Neg Neg
S10 M 5 1.0 No Neg Neg Neg
S11 M 5 3.0 No Neg Neg Non-2B
S12 M 5 3.0 No Neg Neg Non-2B
S13 M 5 3,9 No Neg Th7–10+ Neg
S14 F 5 4,1 No Neg Neg Non-2B
Group III (preclinical)¶
C1 F 8 6.5 No Neg Neg Non-2B
C2 F 10 6.5 No Neg Neg Non-2B
Group IV (controls)#
M1 F 5 2.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M2 F 5 5.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M3 F 16 6.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M4 F 16 6.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M5 F 16 6.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M6 F 16 6.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M7 F 0.05 6.0 No Neg Neg Neg
M8 F 0.05 6.0 No Neg Neg Neg

*BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy; PrPres, proteinase-resistant prion protein; CSF, cerebrospinal fluid; C, cervical; T, thoracic; L, lumbar; neg, negative.
†Received 1 BSE dose, observed until onset of clinical signs.
‡Macaque S6 had a highly stimulated immune system on the day of oral exposure and thereafter (reason unknown) and had the highest postmortem levels of proteinease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) in spleen and other lymphoreticular tissues of all examined macaques (data not shown).
§Animals received 1 BSE dose and were euthanized at regular intervals during incubation period (all animals had PrPres -positive non–central nervous system tissue).
¶Cumulative BSE dose, euthanized.
#Exposed to mock (non–BSE-infected) bovine brain material and euthanized during aging to act as age-matched controls.

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