The extraction and purification of gangliosides from brains of animals infected with the scrapie agent was evaluated by scaling-down a large-scale procedure currently used with bovine brains. Inactivation experiments employed hamster brains infected with the 263 K strain of scrapie. Residual infectivity was determined at different points of the procedure and in the final preparation by an in vivo animal bioassay. The efficacy of single steps, which included chemicals or physical techniques known to affect the viability of the scrapie agent, was verified by spiking experiments where known amounts of infectivity were added just before each single step. Infectivity was significantly diminished at early stages of the purification, and no infectivity was detected in the final preparation containing purified gangliosides. The significant reduction of infectivity at intermediate steps and the total absence of detectable infectivity in the final product confirmed that a combination of heat and exposure to sodium hydroxide, even in the presence of organic solvents, completely inactivated the scrapie agent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology