Mad cow disease airborne

University of Zurich researchers have discovered that prions – the infectious proteins that can causeCreutzfeldt-Jakob (mad cow) disease – can be transmitted through the air. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is characterized by a progressive and invariably lethal breakdown of brain cells. The surprising finding will likely mean a whole new raft of precautionary measures for scientific labs, slaughterhouses and animal feed plants.

It was previously known that prions could be transmitted through contaminated surgical instruments and blood transfusions but prions were not generally considered to be airborne until now. Details of how inhalation of prion-tainted aerosols induced disease are published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

In the new study, the researchers exposed mice to prion-containing aerosols which induced disease. Exposure to the aerosols for one minute was sufficient to induce disease in 100 percent of the mice. The researchers note that the longer the exposure, the shorter the incubation time in the recipient mice, after which they developed the clinical signs of a prion disease.

Interestingly, the prions appeared to transfer from the airways and colonize the brain directly, since various immune system defects – known from previous experiments to prevent the passage of prions from the gut to the brain – did not prevent infection.

The precautionary measures against prion infections have not typically included stringent protection against aerosols. Study leader Adriano Aguzzi recommends precautionary measures to minimize the risk of a prion infection in scientific laboratories, slaughterhouses and animal feed plants but he also emphasizes that the findings stem from laboratory conditions and that Creutzfeldt-Jakob patients do not exhale infectious prions.

Related:
Prions capable of evolutionary change
Scientists create species-jumping hybrid prions
Surgery linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Mad cow disease… sans cow!

Source: University of Zurich

, ,

Comments are closed.

Vintage 1976 Animal Card - Prion - Printed In Japan picture

Vintage 1976 Animal Card - Prion - Printed In Japan

$4.97



Doujinshi Prion (Shikataka) KMTLOVE (Osomatsu-san (Mr. Osomatsu) Karamatsu... picture

Doujinshi Prion (Shikataka) KMTLOVE (Osomatsu-san (Mr. Osomatsu) Karamatsu...

$40.00



Limited Production INFLIGHT P-3C Prion JAPAN Self Defense, RETIRED NIB 1:200 picture

Limited Production INFLIGHT P-3C Prion JAPAN Self Defense, RETIRED NIB 1:200

$290.00



Photo 6x4 Small quarry near Prion Pant-pastynog  c2010 picture

Photo 6x4 Small quarry near Prion Pant-pastynog c2010

$2.46



2000 The Classic Era of AMERICAN COMICS by Nicky Wright  HC/DJ VF+/FVF 1st Prion picture

2000 The Classic Era of AMERICAN COMICS by Nicky Wright HC/DJ VF+/FVF 1st Prion

$29.96



1996 Prion Kayaks Vintage Catalog / Brochure picture

1996 Prion Kayaks Vintage Catalog / Brochure

$29.97



Commando: Rampaging Raiders by George Low Paperback picture

Commando: Rampaging Raiders by George Low Paperback

$35.99



Best of 2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd #9 June 986 picture

Best of 2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd #9 June 986

$10.95



Doujinshi Prion (Shikataka) and a certain mafia (Osomatsu-san (Mr. Osomatsu)... picture

Doujinshi Prion (Shikataka) and a certain mafia (Osomatsu-san (Mr. Osomatsu)...

$40.00



Commando: Airborne Assault (Commando for Action and Adventure) by Calum Laird picture

Commando: Airborne Assault (Commando for Action and Adventure) by Calum Laird

$13.60



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes