CJD and BSE (repost)

Dave Curtis dcurtis at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Fri Mar 22 10:15:09 EST 1996

Apologies for cross-posting. I tried this in bionet.general and got
little response. Surely somebody must be interested and have an expert
opinion or two to offer?

Till today, the mainstream British scientific opinion has been that
there could possibly be a relationship but on balance one couldn't say
one way or the other. The British Medical Journal recently published a
number of opinions and it was clear there was no consensus, nor a
basis for one. However suddenly today we hear that ten cases of CJD
were "probably" related to BSE.  If there can be an aetiological
relationship then that's pretty important - one scientist was
presenting the view that these would be cases from right the start of
the BSE epidemic, when very few cows were infected. He said there
could be as many as a million cases, which I suppose is theoretically
possible but sounds pretty unlikely to me. Are we seeing the start of
a major epidemic (pandemic?)? The AIDS of the next millenium?

Dave Curtis

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