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No temporal trends in the prevalence of atypical scrapie in British sheep, 2002–2006

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Author(s): McIntyre K Marie | del Rio Vilas Victor | Gubbins Simon

Journal: BMC Veterinary Research
ISSN 1746-6148

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background So-called atypical scrapie was first identified in Great Britain (GB) in 2002 following the introduction of wide-scale scrapie surveillance. In particular, abattoir and fallen stock surveys have been carried out in GB since 2002, with a total of 147 atypical positives identified by the end of 2006. The results of these surveys provide data with which to assess temporal trends in the prevalence of atypical scrapie in sheep in Great Britain between 2002 and 2006. Results Using the results of abattoir and fallen stock surveys, the prevalence of atypical scrapie (percentage of samples positive) was estimated. The prevalence in the abattoir and fallen stock surveys, for all years combined, was 0.09% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08%–0.11%) and 0.07% (95% CI: 0.05%–0.11%), respectively. There were no significant temporal trends in either survey. Comparing the surveys' results, there were no significant differences in annual prevalence or the prevalence within PrP genotypes. For the abattoir survey, the PrP genotype with the highest prevalence was AHQ/AHQ, which was significantly higher than all other genotypes, except ARR/AHQ, AHQ/ARH and ARH/ARQ. Conclusion The estimated prevalence of atypical scrapie was similar in both the abattoir and fallen stock surveys. Our results indicate there was no significant temporal trend in prevalence, adding to evidence that this atypical form of scrapie may be a sporadic condition or, if it is infectious, that the force of infection is very low.

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