Repeated passage of the ‘Chandler’ strain of scrapie in female golden hamsters using the intracerebral route of inoculation reduces the minimum incubation period to 60 days, about half of the minimum incubation period so far found in any of the mouse models of scrapie. The infectivity titres in brain in the clinical stage of the disease are considerably higher (> 8.0 -log LD i.c. units/0.05 g) than those found in mouse scrapie. The biological characteristics of this model of hamster scrapie are reported, including the effects on incubation period of route of inoculation, dose of agent, sex of hamster, ambient temperature (hibernation) and splenectomy. Some general and specific applications of this experimental model of scrapie are discussed.


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