Western Immunoblotting Techniques for the Study of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

  • Michael J. Stack
Part of the Methods and Tools in Biosciences and Medicine book series (MTBM)


Initial diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) has always been made by the detection of neuronal vacuolation within formaldehyde-fixed brain sections by histopathological examination. Over time, specific antibodies for pathological markers of TSEs have been produced and immunology-based techniques are being increasingly used to aid diagnosis for screening purposes and to provide information at the molecular level for the disease group as a whole. Western immunoblotting is an established technology and, due to its use of specific antibodies, it is a tool that is used across many scientific disciplines to provide diagnosis of particular diseases, or answers to research problems. This chapter outlines some of the Western immunoblotting techniques which are being used to study TSEs, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, and makes suggestions on the circumstances under which each may be best used.


Prion Protein Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Western Immunoblotting Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Scrapie Agent 
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  • Michael J. Stack

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