INIA-CISA and IRTA-CReSA proceed with the prion research project financed by the Fundació la Marató de TV3

The INIA-CISA researcher Juan Carlos Espinosa visited the PRIOCAT laboratory at IRTA-CReSA to practice the technique of extraction of cerebrospinal fluid from mice, within the framework of the prion research project granted by Fundació la Marató de TV3, in its edition dedicated to infectious diseases.

The objective of this project is to evaluate the risk to public health of atypical and emerging prions and to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of prion diseases in people. Therefore, the project will focus on developing bioassays in transgenic mouse models that express the human prion protein to determine the zoonotic potential of these prions and identify biomarkers by analyzing biological fluids such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid. In previous studies, it has already been shown that cerebrospinal fluid is a good material for the establishment of new biomarkers for these diseases.

In particular, these transgenic mice will be inoculated atypical prions of cows and sheep, and prions of the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a disease that mainly affects animals of the family of the cervids (deer, blood and reindeer). Scientists want to see if atypical prions of cows and sheep and CWD can pose a danger to humans, and if this danger increases when prions pass through domestic animals such as sheep or cows used for human consumption. For this, during the experiment, transgenic mice will be inoculated with atypical prions of cows and sheep, of CWD of cervids and also with those prions previously passed by cows and sheep. In this way, the changes produced at the level of structure and zoonotic potential during their transmission can be determined.

The experiments of this study will be carried out at the PRIOCAT laboratory, located at the facilities of the Biosecurity 3 Biocontenency Unit of the IRTA-CReSA and the INIA-CISA Biocontenition Unit. Both laboratories make up the Network of High Biosafety Level Laboratories (RLASB), a Scientific and Technical Infrastructure of Spain (ICTS).

About the author of this post:

Investigador de l'IRTA-CReSA. Laboratori PRIOCAT - SESC (Suport a Escorxadors) - Diagnòstic TBC.