Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein

Soil Biology and Biochemistry
By: , and 



Studies examining the persistence of prions (the etiological agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) in soil require accurate quantification of pathogenic prion protein (PrPTSE) extracted from or in the presence of soil particles. Here, we demonstrate that natural organic matter (NOM) in soil impacts PrPTSE detection by immunoblotting. Methods commonly used to extract PrPTSE from soils release substantial amounts of NOM, and NOM inhibited PrPTSE immunoblot signal. The degree of immunoblot interference increased with increasing NOM concentration and decreasing NOM polarity. Humic substances affected immunoblot detection of prion protein from both deer and hamsters. We also establish that after interaction with humic acid, PrPTSE remains infectious to hamsters inoculated intracerebrally, and humic acid appeared to slow disease progression. These results provide evidence for interactions between PrPTSE and humic substances that influence both accurate measurement of PrPTSE in soil and disease transmission.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein
Series title Soil Biology and Biochemistry
DOI 10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.10.005
Volume 68
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 8 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Soil Biology and Biochemistry
First page 309
Last page 316
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