Lack of prion transmission by sexual or parental routes in experimentally infected hamsters

Rodrigo Morales, Sandra Pritzkow, Ping Ping Hu, Claudia Duran-Aniotz, Claudio Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans as well as captive and wild animals. The mechanisms and routes governing the natural spread of prions are not completely understood and several hypotheses have been proposed. In this study, we analyzed the effect of gender in prion incubation period, as well as the possibility of prion transmission by sexual and parental contact using 263K infected hamsters as a model. Our results show that males have significantly longer incubation periods compared with females when exposed to the same quantity of infectious material. Importantly, no evidence of sexual or parental prion transmission was found, even 500 d after sexual contact or birth, respectively. Western blotting and PMca were unable to detect sub-clinical levels of PrPSc in experimental subjects, suggesting a complete absence of prion transmission by these routes. Our results show that sexual and parental transmission of prions does not occur in this model. It remains to be studied whether this conclusion is valid also for other prion strains and species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • 263K
  • Parental transmission
  • Prion
  • Protein misfolding cyclic amplification
  • Sexual transmission
  • Syrian hamster


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