Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Suggests New Human Genotype May Be Prone To Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Date:
May 19, 2006
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
A small study in this week's British Medical Journal suggests a new human genotype may be prone to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Although this new evidence may rekindle fears of a larger epidemic, others warn that it is important to be cautious in interpreting these results.

A small study in this week's British Medical Journal suggests a new human genotype may be prone to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Related Articles


Although this new evidence may rekindle fears of a larger epidemic, others warn that it is important to be cautious in interpreting these results.

Since the initial discovery of vCJD in the United Kingdom a decade ago, there has been concern about the ultimate extent of the epidemic. Fortunately the magnitude of the epidemic at present seems to match the lower limit of the early estimates, with 161 definite or probable cases in the UK.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh analysed DNA from two tissue samples that harboured prion proteins (a marker for vCJD infection) to identify the genetic make-up (genotype) of the patients.

So far, all clinical cases of vCJD have occurred in individuals with the homozygous methionine (MM) genotype, and it was hoped that this was the only susceptible population group. But both these samples carried the homozygous valine (VV) genotype, suggesting that individuals with the VV genotype may also be susceptible to vCJD infection.

The fear is that individuals with this genotype may be at risk of developing the condition, possibly with longer incubation periods, say the authors. Alternatively, these people may be asymptomatic carriers who might transmit the condition to other susceptible individuals by blood transfusion or surgery.

Though they warn against over-interpreting data from only two positive cases, they conclude that these uncertainties further underline the need for continued surveillance of vCJD in the UK.

It is important to be cautious in interpreting the results of this study, warn experts from Canada in an accompanying editorial. The study shows the existence of the prion protein in two tissue samples, not clinical evidence of vCJD in two patients. The study also provides no evidence to suggest that tissue from these two people could transmit vCJD to others.

"Studies such as this are essential to the continuing effort to control the extent of the epidemic and highlight the urgent need for ongoing surveillance for vCJD," they add. "They also pose challenges to health officials who have to formulate policies comprising difficult trade-offs based on uncertain evidence."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Study Suggests New Human Genotype May Be Prone To Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060519102407.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2006, May 19). Study Suggests New Human Genotype May Be Prone To Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060519102407.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Study Suggests New Human Genotype May Be Prone To Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060519102407.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins