Researchers at Black Hills State University’s Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources (CCBR) and the Western South Dakota DNA Core Facility (WestCore) have had a paper titled “The Complete CDS of the Prion Protein (PRNP) Gene of African Lion (Panthera leo)” accepted for publication in the journal Virus Genes.

BHSU faculty members Dr. Garth Spellman, research faculty, and Dr. Shane Sarver, director of CCBR and WestCore, researched and authored the study with colleague Andrzej Maj. The study focused on a specific protein gene that influences the protein that is responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalapathies. These diseases are more commonly known as mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, and Creutzfeld-Jacob disease in humans. The paper focused on the cat family because felines are especially susceptible to the disease and can be infected by other species, such as cattle or sheep. Studies of the structure of the gene will help in understanding the transmission of the disease as well as possible resistance or susceptibility to infection.

For more information, contact Sarver at ShaneSarver@BHSU.edu
or 642-6854.