Mad Cow Diseases and Milk

Thu Mar 28 07:19:20 EST 1996


I hate to intrude, and if you think I should have lurked a while before
firing up the mailer, that's fair comment.

I have just been trawling usenet for BSE/JCD references, and this is the
first group I've encountered - any recommendations for a more appropriate
group?  I'd welcome any suggestions.

Any recommendations of readable review articles on BSE/JCD?  Would
have to be understandable by physiology/biochem graduate I'm afraid.

And back to the thread... any comments on my questions below would be

>In article <4j2mvd$mrd at titan.np.ac.sg> fwl at titan.np.ac.sg (Forday Wayne Lee) writes:
>>Mad cow disease is caused by a prion. The prion is said to be hard to
>>destroy and can be passed to a human consumer of an infected cow.
>>Can it also be passed via milk?
>The answer is as yet unknown. Experiments have been done where milk has been
>injected into mice to see if they develop symptoms but as far as I know none
>have. HOWEVER, these experiments involved injecting only 1 or 2 microlitres
>into a mouse (only one injection per mouse) and the prion may be there at
>lower concentrations than would be detected by this method.

What does the dose/response curve look like? Does the above imply a "safe

>Human milk from
>CJD patients has been shown to be infectious. Bovine blood has shown to be
>infectious - and it is not unreasonable that milk may be contaminated by small
>amounts of blood.

So if bovine blood is infectious, how is it that muscle tissue isn't?

>It seems that the UK government are reluctant to fund experiments where a calf
>from an uninfected cow is fed milk from an infected cow - I'll leave you to
>draw your own conclusions.....
>|          Dr Hazel Marie Davey   hlr at aber.ac.uk         |
>|Sefydliad y Gwyddorau Biolegol*Inst. Biological Sciences|
>|Prifysgol Cymru               *      University of Wales|
>|        ABERYSTWYTH, Dyfed, CYMRU / WALES SY23 3DA      |
>|            http://pcfcfh.dbs.aber.ac.uk/index.htm      |

Allan Green
Medical Physics,
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham UK

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