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Latest prions Stories

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2009-02-06 16:20:00

Scientists at University College London have developed a highly sensitive test that detects whether surgical instruments may be contaminated. The test can accurately detect the presence of prions, vCJD-causing proteins, on metal surfaces, and could help ensure that surgical decontamination processes are working. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a rare and fatal human neurodegenerative condition.  While there is no recorded case of a patient developing vCJD after surgery,...

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2009-01-30 07:41:52

A blood test has been developed by Canadian researchers that can diagnose fatal chronic wasting disease in elk, and may provide an inexpensive approach to screening for mad cow disease. According to the researchers, the test looks for damaged cells in the blood, and may also provide a way to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The report appears in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. "We can now take a blood sample from a live animal and look at the DNA patterns in the blood and...

2009-01-15 10:37:29

In the rogues' gallery of microscopic infectious agents, the prion is the toughest hombre in town. Warped pathogens that lack both DNA and RNA, prions are believed to cause such fatal brain ailments as chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and moose, mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. In addition to being perhaps the weirdest infectious agent know to science, the prion is also the most durable. It resists almost every method of destruction...

2008-12-05 12:41:51

A worldwide group of scientists has created an infectious prion disease in a mouse model, in a step that may help unravel the mystery of this progressive disease that affects the nervous system in humans and animals. The research team, including Christina J. Sigurdson, D.V.M., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, also discovered that changing the structure of the prion protein by altering just two nucleic acids leads to a fatal...

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2008-11-19 17:35:00

The Texas Department of State Health Services said on Wednesday that there has been no human case of mad cow disease in the Texas panhandle area in the past month, despite the rumors in Chicago markets of a woman patient.During a variety of mad cow-related rumors, one of which was the woman being treated for the disease in an Amarillo hospital, cattle futures plummeted at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange."We do not have any confirmed cases of CJD or variant CJD in that area in the last month,"...

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2008-09-13 17:30:00

U.S. researchers reported on Friday that a rare genetic mutation may underlie some cases of mad cow disease in cattle and its discovery may help shed light on where the epidemic started.They believe BSE may sometimes arise spontaneously in cattle, as the mutation, in an Alabama cow that tested positive in 2006 for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is identical to one that causes a related brain-wasting disease in humans. "Cattle producers must never let down their guard against BSE...

2008-09-05 15:00:31

Scientists at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) have made a discovery that could lead to the ability to perform accurate diagnostic tests on live animals for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) as opposed to only being able to test them post-mortem, as is the current option. Working with scientists from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's BSE Reference Laboratories, the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health in Germany, and the University...

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2008-09-01 09:30:00

The risk of transmitting bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as mad cow disease, through blood transfusion is surprisingly high, Scottish researchers said. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, one of a group of rare neurodegenerative disorders called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, has no reliable non-invasive test for detecting infection before the onset of clinical disease. In addition to BSE, these diseases include scrapie, a closely related disease in sheep, and...

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2008-07-22 15:30:00

Originally By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Public health officials in Massachusetts are investigating whether a patient in a Cape Cod hospital has the human form of mad cow disease. Dr. Alfred DeMaria, the state's director of communicable disease control, confirmed Sunday to The Associated Press that tests are being done to see if the patient has Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and whether it's the variant attributed to mad cow. There have only been three cases of the human form of mad cow...

2008-07-16 03:00:00

By McDonnell, Gerald KEYWORDS Decontamination / Inactivation / Prion / Sterilisation Prion diseases present unique challenges to healthcare facilities, both in the care and treatment of patients. A significant cause for concern is in the routine reprocessing of medical devices used on patients and how disease transmission can be prevented on the reuse of devices. Investigations have shown that prion disease can be transmitted on medical devices, which can be a concern given the long...