Epidemiological investigation of a new incident of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) in Stetsonville, Wisconsin, U.S.A. in 1985 revealed that the mink rancher had never fed sheep products to his mink but did feed them large amounts of products from fallen or sick dairy cattle. To investigate the possibility that this occurrence of TME may have resulted from exposure to infected cattle, two Holstein bull calves were injected intracerebrally with mink brain from the Stetsonville ranch. Each bull developed a fatal spongiform encepha-lopathy 18 and 19 months after inoculation, respectively, and both bovine brains passaged back into mink were highly pathogenic by either intracerebral or oral inoculation. These results suggest the presence of a previously unrecognized scrapie-like infection in cattle in the United States.


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