After an intraperitoneal infection of hamsters with scrapie agent, early low and constant titres of about 100 LD/brain between days 10 to 50 were followed by a dramatic increase to maximum levels of 3 × 10 LD/brain within about 15 days. The plateau of maximum infectivity remained unchanged from day 70 to the time of the first and final signs of disease at 95 and 123 days post-infection, respectively. Scrapie-associated fibrils (SAF) as measured by immunoblotting of SAF protein could not be detected before 79 days post-infection even when a total brain was used for analysis. Subsequently, the concentration of SAF increased gradually by about 10000-fold until the time of clinical disease. The kinetics suggest a virus-induced amyloidosis of the brain as the cause of disease.


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