Hypothesis of interference to superinfection between bovine spastic paresis and bovine spongiform encephalopathy; suggestions for experimentation, theoretical and practical interest.

Abstract

Sub-acute transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are diseases of little known etiology. The origin of these diseases would appear to be an abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) which would be infectious by directly inducing its defective conformation to the normal native protein (PrP(C)). This hypothesis does not account for certain aspects of TSEs, such as interference to superinfection: in laboratory animals, inoculation by means of an attenuated strain with a long incubation period protects against later infection by a very virulent strain with a short incubation period. The hypothesis is put forward that there exists a possibility of interference to superinfection between neurodegenerative diseases of unknown origin, thought to be similar to TSEs, and a later infection by a TSE. The study of this interference between bovine spastic paresis (BSP) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) could be used as a model for this hypothesis. BSP is a very rare disease among cattle, of unknown etiology; it is curable, in the very early stages, by using tryptophan and especially lithium, potentiated by copper and manganese. An etiology close to that of TSEs has been suggested on several occasions. If interference could be demonstrated between BSP and BSE, interesting data would be provided concerning the etiology, the pathogenesis and possibly the treatment and prevention of these diseases. Notably, such data could lead to the development of a treatment and a prevention with lithium and amino acids precursors of neuromediators (tryptophan, tyrosine, glutamic acid, etc.), as well as the developing of a vaccine to combat TSEs, especially BSE and scrapie.

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@article{Ledoux2004HypothesisOI, title={Hypothesis of interference to superinfection between bovine spastic paresis and bovine spongiform encephalopathy; suggestions for experimentation, theoretical and practical interest.}, author={Jean-Marie Ledoux}, journal={Medical hypotheses}, year={2004}, volume={62 3}, pages={346-53} }