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Prions are infectious pathogens that cause a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by spongiform degeneration of the central nervous system. Prions appear to lack any informational nucleic acid. The most notable prion diseases include bovine spongiform encephalopathy, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans. Transmission is thought to be achieved through conversion of a normal host protein into a pathological isoform. Although the main pathological changes during the course of the disease occur in the brain, the infectious agent accumulates early in lymphoid tissue. The subsequent development of clinical disease depends on the presence of an intact immune system including mature B-cells. In this article we review the state of knowledge on the routes of neuroinvasion used by the infectious agent in order to gain access to the central nervous system upon entry into extracerebral sites.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology|
|DDC:||570 Life sciences; biology|
610 Medicine & health
|Date:||01 May 2000|
|Deposited On:||11 Feb 2008 13:26|
|Last Modified:||23 Nov 2012 14:59|
|WoS Citation Count:||30|
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