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In vivo prion protein intestinal uptake in fish


  • Received 7 June 2007.

    Accepted 4 September 2007.

Ciappellano S. Department of Food Science and Microbiology (DISTAM), Section of Human Nutrition, University of Milan, via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy. e-mail: e-mail


Intestinal uptake of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc), the pathological agent involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), has been investigated in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Experimental procedures were conducted in vivo by immunohistological PrPSc localization in intestine and pyloric caeca after forced feeding of infected material. Results indicate that PrPSc was absorbed by the intestinal mucosa and that it persisted in the fish gastrointestinal tract for up to 3 days in pyloric caeca and for up to 7 days in the distal intestine. It did not remain longer than 15 days in the fish intestine; furthermore, it did not cross the intestinal barrier.