Transmissible mink encephalopathy is a rare disease of ranch-raised mink that is caused by exposure to a scrapie-like agent in feed. Transmission of TME to hamsters resulted in the identification of two clinically different syndromes, HYPER and DROWSY. Differences in the physicochemical properties of PrP from these two strains suggests that PrP plays an important role in defining strains. This review will summarize what is currently known about TME and relate it to the broader field of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
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