William Tivol tivol at
Wed Apr 3 12:10:33 EST 1996

Dr Richard Stitson (rnms at wrote:

: Now, assuming vertical transmission ie cross placenta or in 
: milk (BSE positive cows are still allowed to produce/feed young even 
: if thier milk is not drunk by humans) is possible, then consider the 
: following hypothetical parallel:

: Given a genetic disorder (ie "acquired at or around birth") with a 
: variable but late onset (ie starting in teens with a peak in middle 
: age).
: Any commments people?

Dear Richard,
	It is my understanding that BSE is transmitted by ingestion of
affected tissue--in this case brain.  This, of course, does not eliminate
the possibility that there is also a route of vertical transmission.  I
know of no evidence, however, supporting transmission from cow to calf.
Although it is a reasonable precaution (or, at least, a reasonable PR
move) to test the calves, not feed them milk from untested cows, etc.,
there may, in fact, be no coverup.  Perhaps the prion experts will tell
us if there is evidence for vertical transmission.
				Bill Tivol

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