Aptamers for Ante-mortem Diagnostics of Prion Infection
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
All forms of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) are caused by a unique infectious agent termed "prion", a proteinaceous pathogen lacking nucleic acid. Prions are actually a misfolded variant of the normal mammalian prion protein, PrPc. Normal disease transmission occurs when prions are ingested by a naive animal. The current test for TSE is a post mortem diagnosis looking for protease-resistant PrPSc in brain tissue by immunohistochemistry. The ante mortem diagnosis of prion disease is complicated due to very low concentration of PrPsc and high presence of PrPc associated with all blood components and serum even in infectious animals. Any blood diagnostic test would need to discriminate pg/mL concentrations of PrPsc from PrPc. To address the need for ante mortem diagnosis of the prion disease the IST and CSU team will attempt detection of the pg quantities of PrPsc /mL directly in bodily fluids using uniquely specific and highly affinitive DNA aptamers developed using our proprietary technology for DNA aptamer production.
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Research Institution Information:
303 Bear Hill Road Waltham, MA 02451
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COLORADO STATE UNIV.
408 Univ Services Center
Fort Collins, CO 80523-2002
Nonprofit college or university