spongiform encephalopathy in young humans

Jorg Kirberg kirberg at bii.ch
Wed Nov 15 10:11:49 EST 1995


In article <47v5hm$hld at news.csus.edu>, mattw at sfsu.edu (MATTHEW FRANCIS
WETTLAUFER) wrote:

> Jorg Kirberg (kirberg at bii.ch) wrote:
> : In article <47h4pd$cbe at news.csus.edu>, mattw at sfsu.edu (MATTHEW FRANCIS
> : WETTLAUFER) wrote:
> 
> : > VANCAMPE at UWYO.EDU wrote:
> : > : Dear Anyone:  I've heard a rumor through the grapevine that 3 cases of
> : > : spongiform encephalopathy have been diagnosed in young (teenage)
> : humans in the
> : > : U.K.  There is some mention of possible links to the ingestion of
> : unpasteurized
> : > : milk and bovine brains by two of these patients.  The report is
> : supposed to be
> : > : in Lancet.  Anyone have a reference or can confirm?  Thank you in
> : advance, Hana
> : > I haven't read any articles about it but it would make sense if you
> :                                            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ???* 
> : > consider the outbreak of "mad cow disease" in the U.K. during the 
> : > mid-1980's when up to 130,000 head of cattle had to be destroyed because 
> : > they had become infected with prions from sheep mulch.
> : > Spongiform encephalopathies have very long incubation periods, 5 to 8 
> : > years, so there was and still is speculation over whether a species leap 
> : > could take place between cows and humans (as it did between sheep
and cows).
> : > Don't know if any of this info. helps.
> : > Matt Wettlaufer
> 
> : * how can it make sense if man never got it from sheep before ? I would
> : think that one still has to wait for more cases before a link between BSE
> : and humans eating whatever from the U.K. cattles can be made.
> : jorg
> 
> : ******************************************************************
> : Joerg Kirberg                     EMAIL: kirberg at bii.ch
> : Basel Institute for Immunology    FAX:   41-61-605 13 72
> : Grenzacherstr. 487                PHONE: 41-61-605 12 77
> : CH-4005 Basel
> : Switzerland
> I agree with you that no connection can be made between BSE and human 
> spongiform encephalopathy unless more cases arise.  But I do not think 
> that should rule speculation out.  PrP proteins that cause BSE are closer 
> to PrP proteins sequenced for humans than they are to those that have 
> been sequenced for sheep (scrapies).  And as the others of this panel 
> have mentioned, it is worrisome when two cases of noninherited CJD arise 
> in the same country at the same time in two young people (when CJD 
> usually developes in elderly people and at an incidence rate of one per 
> million).  No connection can be proven at this point unless other cases 
> arise, but speculation about this is not unwarranted given this pathogen's 
> unpredictable etiology.
> Matt Wettlaufer

'Speculation' is a more appropriate term than to say 'it makes sense'.
Thats all I wanted to complain about. I agree that my reply concerning
the infectivity of scrapie for man is not very appropriate; but it was ment
to be on the same level as saying something makes sense. There is none.

jorg



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