Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prions Are Not Degraded By Conventional Sewage Treatment Processes

Date:
June 25, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Wisconsin are reporting that typical wastewater treatment processes do not degrade prions.

Wastewater treatment plants do not reduce harmful proteins called prions that cause incurable brain infections, such as Mad Cow disease, scientists report.
Credit: Courtesy of Katherine McMahon

Scientists in Wisconsin are reporting that typical wastewater treatment processes do not degrade prions.

Related Articles


Prions, rogue proteins that cause incurable brain infections such as Mad Cow disease and its human equivalent, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, are difficult to inactivate, resisting extreme heat, chemical disinfectants, and irradiation. Until now, scientists did not know whether prions entering sewers and septic tanks from slaughterhouses, meatpacking facilities, or private game dressing, could survive and pass through conventional sewage treatment plants.

Joel Pedersen and colleagues used laboratory experiments with simulated wastewater treatment to show that prions can be recovered from wastewater sludge after 20 days, remaining in the "biosolids," a byproduct of sewage treatment sometimes used to fertilize farm fields.

Although emphasizing that prions have never been reported in wastewater treatment plant water or biosolids, the researchers note that existing tests are not sufficiently sensitive to detect the extremely low levels of prions possible in those materials. Their report appears in a paper scheduled for the July 1 issue of the American Chemical Society'sEnvironmental Science & Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hinckley, Glen T., Johnson, Christopher J., Jacobson, Kurt H., Bartholomay, Christian, McMahon, Katherine D., McKenzie, Debbie, Aiken, Judd M., and Pedersen, Joel A. Persistence of Pathogenic Prion Protein during Simulated Wastewater Treatment Processes. Environ. Sci. Technol., Web Release Date: June 10, 2008 DOI: 10.1021/es703186e

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Prions Are Not Degraded By Conventional Sewage Treatment Processes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623093029.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, June 25). Prions Are Not Degraded By Conventional Sewage Treatment Processes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623093029.htm
American Chemical Society. "Prions Are Not Degraded By Conventional Sewage Treatment Processes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623093029.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

BuzzFeed (Jan. 23, 2015) Dating is now speed-dating... or studying. Video provided by BuzzFeed
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