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August 2006

Sheep Placenta: Scrapie

Detailed information.

Animal: Sheep, ewe, 4-5 years old.Organ: Placenta

History: The ewe was thin and suddenly stopped to eat. It had rapidly developing nervous signs. At examination the ewe was recumbent, the whole body was shivering. There was foamy fluid around the mouth and the head was held forward and down. The ewe was often smacking its lips and was hyperaesthetic. It showed no pruritus.

Histological findings: Widespread vacuolation of the neuropil and neuronal perikarya in the brain and spinal cord. Deposits of PrPSc (scrapie-associated prion protein) in the central nervous system, the enteric nervous system, in several lymphoid organs and placenta.

Placenta: Numerous PrPSc granules in maternal epithelial cells (me). Foetal trophoblasts (ft) are less involved, but several have large intracellular, often single, PrPSc granules. PrP antibody F89/160.1.5. Bar = 40 µm.

Diagnosis: Classical scrapie

Post mortem: Dr. Martha J. Ulvund, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Sandnes, Norway.Photo: Dr. Cecilie Ersdal, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo, Norway.