Web Zap*Germs Archive

August 30, 2005

A Blood Test to Detect Mad Cow Disease

Work is underway at the University of Texas in Galveston to develop a highly sensitive blood test that will detect prions -- the infectious protein agents responsible for mad cow disease and its variants. Small quote from MSNBC:
So far the technique has been tested with animals, but ultimately [Dr Claudio] Soto hopes his group can develop the means to screen human blood in populations at high risk for variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, because of their exposure to meat from animals with mad cow disease.

“We know that from the time people get infected to the time they develop clinical symptoms can last up to 40 years, so we still have 20 years to go before we see full extent of the disease,” he said, referring to the situation that arose in the 1980s.


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