Partial survival of lyophilized scrapie agent has been reported previously following exposure to dry heat at 360 °C for 1 h, and led to speculation that scrapie-like agents might not be completely inactivated by incineration. However, it is known that dried infectivity is more difficult to inactivate by heat than that in hydrated samples. In this present study it was shown that the infectivity in macerates of mouse-brain infected with the ME7 strain of scrapie agent was not completely inactivated by exposure to dry heat at temperatures up to 180 °C for 1 h but the titre of surviving infectivity reduced progressively as the temperature was increased. No infectivity was recovered after a 1 h exposure at 200 °C. These data suggest that scrapie-like agents are unlikely to survive incineration.


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