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Prion transmissibility

muriel lederman mstorrie at vt.edu
Wed Jul 12 09:03:18 EST 1995

>        I read this Canadian pres article this moring about the
>transmissibility of prions.  This statement was made during the Krever
>inquiry into Canada's tainted (eg. HIV and HepB and HepC) blood system.
>        It seems one Dr. Nathan Kobrinsky said a 'virus' called Jakob
>Creutzfeld could be transmitted via blood transfusions.  To support his
>point he lists two patients in the US who died of Creutzfeld Jakod
>Disease (CJD) without receiving hGH or corneal transplants or the like.
>I have seceral quesitons:
>1. I assume the paper made an error saying CJD is caused by a virus and
>not Dr. Korbinsky not knowing about prions.
>2. If I am not mistaken there are familial forms of CJD where the prion
>protein gene becomes mutated, correct?
>3. Finally, and most importantly, this business about blood
>transmission.  From the papers I have read I think to myself 'Not Bloody
>Likely' (Pun intended).  Aren't prions transmitted primarily in neural
>Any comments. answers?
>                                Duane
>        University of Manitoba; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
>                      umfunk15 at cc.umanitoba.ca

Won't dare try to answer 1. Don't know the answer to 2. but am interested.
WR2 #3 - several years ago at a History of Virology meeting, Gajdushek (the
original king of Kuru) said that a "cluster" of 2 or 3 CJD cases occured in
a small private hospital in England and transmission was attributed to
inadequate sterilization - I think this would imply that it could be

Muriel Lederman           lederman at vt.edu     703.231.5702 (phone)
Department of Biology                         703.231.9307 (fax)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg VA 24061-0406

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