James C. Harrison wrote:
>> Has anybody compared the new CJD cases in England with kuru, the Papuan
> brain disease thought to be spread through the ritual eating of the dead?
> Prions have been implicated in kuru as well as CJD, BSE, and scrapie.
Of course. Kuru and CJD have distinct features (epidemiology, clinical
pattern, etc) but they are essentially the same entity, with the same
causative agent (an altered form of the human PrP protein).
Incidently, it is not proved that kuru was caused by canibalism,
directly (ie, by oral route). I may have been contracted by parenteral
inoculation during the preparation of the canibalistic meals.
***** JOAO VASCONCELOS COSTA, MD, PhD
***** Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia - Oeiras, Portugal
***** mailto:jcosta at pen.gulbenkian.pt