No major change in vCJD agent strain after secondary transmission via blood transfusion

M. T. Bishop, D. L. Ritchie, R. G. Will, J. W. Ironside, M. W. Head, V. Thomson, M. Bruce, J. C. Manson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The identification of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) by blood transfusion has prompted investigation to establish whether there has been any alteration in the vCJD agent following this route of secondary transmission. Any increase in virulence or host adaptation would require a reassessment of the risk analyses relating to the possibility of a significant secondary outbreak of vCJD. Since there are likely to be carriers of the vCJD agent in the general population, there is a potential for further infection by routes such as blood transfusion or contaminated surgical instruments.

Methodology: We inoculated both wild-type and transgenic mice with material from the first case of transfusion associated vCJD infection.

Principal Findings: The strain transmission properties of blood transfusion associated vCJD infection show remarkable similarities to the strain of vCJD associated with transmission from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Conclusions: Although it has been hypothesized that adaptation of the BSE agent through secondary passage in humans may result in a greater risk of onward transmission due to an increased virulence of the agent for humans, our data presented here in two murine models suggest no significant alterations to transmission efficiency of the agent following human-to-human transmission of vCJD.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2878
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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