Chapter

The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

Richard S.G. Knight and Hester J.T. Ward

in Oxford Textbook of Public Health

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199218707
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199609673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199218707.003.0068

Series: Oxford Textbooks

The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

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Prion diseases are a group of animal and human diseases having disparate causes, distributions, and clinical pictures, but are unified by a common neurodegenerative pathology, the common central role of the prion protein, and a shared potential for transmissibility (even in those instances where the primary cause is apparently spontaneous or genetic). This potential transmissibility from animal to man (e.g. variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease [vCJD] resulting from bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE] dietary contamination) or from human to human (via various means, most recently by blood transfusion) gives these illnesses their specific public health importance.

Chapter.  11521 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Infectious Diseases ; Epidemiology

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