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Prions? CJD/BSE Connection...

Shaun D. Carstairs shaunc at alumnae.caltech.edu
Fri Apr 5 13:09:11 EST 1996

dsc9w at avery.med.Virginia.EDU (David Cassarino) writes:

>> >Apart from pathological cases or examples in extremis (e.g. the Andes 
>> >plane crash) there is absolutely no evidence of 'normal' cannibalism 
>> >anywhere on earth. The transmission of kuru is not by the eating of human 
>> >brains but by the practice employed by those contracting this disaease of 
>> >exhuming their dead after a period of burial, and emptying the cranial 
>> >cavity of brain material by hand; the disease being transmitted through 
>> >small cuts in the skin.
>The only way to get CJD from ingestion of prions is via
>innoculation (ie, if you have cuts in your mouth or
>esophagus).  As proteins, prions are degraded to AAs in the stomach,
>and thus do not pose a significant threat in the normal GI

Not true.  CJD can be transmitted through both parenteral and oral routes.
Prions are remarkably resistant to most agents, chemical and physical, and
are noteworthy for being protease-resistant, which means that they would
_not_ be digested in the stomach.

* Shaun D. Carstairs                                   *
* Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences *
* shaunc at alumni.caltech.edu                            *
* s98carstairs at usuhsb.usuhs.mil                        *

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