1887

Abstract

Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of rare, transmissible and fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with the protein agent (PrP). As such, the sensitive and rapid detection of prion PrP amyloid on the surface of suspect surgical instruments is of great importance and may even allow remedial action to be taken prior to any further operative intervention and possible iatrogenic transmission. However, conventional PrP detection methodologies tend to rely on the inefficient and unreliable removal of suspect material from a surface using swabs or wipes prior to antibody analysis. Here we show how the combination of an advanced light microscope technique, episcopic differential interference contrast/epifluorescence (EDIC/EF) microscopy, and the application of -amyloid fluorescent thiazole markers (thioflavin T, thioflavin S) can be used to detect, , submicron (attomole) levels of prion protein amyloid contamination in brain and spleen sections, smears and homogenate on surgical stainless steel surfaces and surgical instruments. This technique, although not specific to an amyloid type, can be used to verify that surgical instruments are substantially free from prion amyloid protein soiling and hence reduce the risk of iatrogenic transmission.

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2007-09-01
2019-10-14
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