Prion disease in dromedary camels, Algeria

Baaissa Babelhadj, Michele Angelo Di Bari, Laura Pirisinu, Barbara Chiappini, Semir Bechir Suheil Gaouar, Geraldina Riccardi, Stefano Marcon, Umberto Agrimi, Romolo Nonno, Gabriele Vaccari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in small ruminants, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). After the BSE epidemic, and the associated human infections, began in 1996 in the United Kingdom, general concerns have been raised about animal prions. We detected a prion disease in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Algeria. Symptoms suggesting prion disease occurred in 3.1% of dromedaries brought for slaughter to the Ouargla abattoir in 2015–2016. We confirmed diagnosis by detecting pathognomonic neurodegeneration and disease-specific prion protein (PrPSc) in brain tissues from 3 symptomatic animals. Prion detection in lymphoid tissues is suggestive of the infectious nature of the disease. PrPSc biochemical characterization showed differences with BSE and scrapie. Our identification of this prion disease in a geographically widespread livestock species requires urgent enforcement of surveillance and assessment of the potential risks to human and animal health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1036
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Prion disease in dromedary camels, Algeria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this