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Prion infections, blood and transfusions.


Aguzzi, A; Glatzel, M (2006). Prion infections, blood and transfusions. Nature Reviews. Neurology, 2(6):321-329.

Abstract

Prion infections lead to invariably fatal diseases of the CNS, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and scrapie in sheep. There have been hundreds of instances in which prions have been transmitted iatrogenically among humans, usually through neurosurgical procedures or administration of pituitary tissue extracts. Prions have not generally been regarded as blood-borne infectious agents, and case-control studies have failed to identify CJD in transfusion recipients. Previous understanding was, however, questioned by reports of prion infections in three recipients of blood donated by individuals who subsequently developed variant CJD. On reflection, hematogenic prion transmission does not come as a surprise, as involvement of extracerebral compartments such as lymphoid organs and skeletal muscle is common in most prion infections, and prions have been recovered from the blood of rodents and sheep. Novel diagnostic strategies, which might include the use of surrogate markers of prion infection, along with prion removal strategies, might help to control the risk of iatrogenic prion spread through blood transfusions.

Prion infections lead to invariably fatal diseases of the CNS, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and scrapie in sheep. There have been hundreds of instances in which prions have been transmitted iatrogenically among humans, usually through neurosurgical procedures or administration of pituitary tissue extracts. Prions have not generally been regarded as blood-borne infectious agents, and case-control studies have failed to identify CJD in transfusion recipients. Previous understanding was, however, questioned by reports of prion infections in three recipients of blood donated by individuals who subsequently developed variant CJD. On reflection, hematogenic prion transmission does not come as a surprise, as involvement of extracerebral compartments such as lymphoid organs and skeletal muscle is common in most prion infections, and prions have been recovered from the blood of rodents and sheep. Novel diagnostic strategies, which might include the use of surrogate markers of prion infection, along with prion removal strategies, might help to control the risk of iatrogenic prion spread through blood transfusions.

Citations

26 citations in Web of Science®
31 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:27
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:21
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1745-834X
Publisher DOI:10.1038/ncpneuro0214
PubMed ID:16932576

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