Monday, October 28, 2013

A Kiss of a Prion: New Implications for Oral Transmissibility

 we are (in my opinion), exposed to the TSE prion in so many different ways in every day life, the potential for exposure and then becoming infected via taking care of a loved one with TSE prion disease, in my opinion risk factor there from is minimal, if proper precautions are taken, and even if they were not, the chance of becoming infected from a kiss, or casual contact is low, but I do not think it is zero, actually, far from it. I put this all together for a documentation of the known facts to date, of the potential casual human to human transmission. I did not put it together to scare anyone. with aerosol transmission of the TSE prion a reality now, infectivity in urine and feces and transmission there from being reality now with the TSE prion disease, I don’t see how anyone can rule _out_ the potential for transmission of the TSE prion via a kiss (a vehicle for transmission of the TSE prion via saliva), or even for a cut or open wound (all a cut is and transmission there from, is an crude inoculation of sorts, and inoculation has been proven to be an efficient mode of transmission for the TSE prion disease), even the eye, from either one of the body fluids now that how proven to be infections. I can’t see why we have such safety protocols for laboratory workers working with the TSE prion disease, but yet the same officials will say it’s o.k. for the public, friends, and or family members to do just the opposite with their loved ones when succumbing to the CJD TSE prion disease. don’t get me wrong, I did it too, and would probably do it again as far as kissing my mom. but science is science, and the transmission studies speak for themselves with the bodily fluids. simply put, which is all I was saying, we can’t say never, and or that none of these cases to date, have not been, and or will not be, a potential vehicle for transmission. I believe, and this is my opinion, that more concern for casual transmission with body fluids and materials there from, should be put forth to families with their loved ones, and I think that the safety protocols there from should be revised, to match that of the laboratory settings. again, this is my opinion. your opinion, and or others here, may read the same science and feel different out the findings. ...take care, kind regards, terry





Name: Creutzfeldt-Jakob agent, Kuru agent

Synonym or Cross Reference:: Subacute spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Kuru, Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE).

Characteristics: Filterable, self-replicating agent, slow infectious pathogen, prion protein (PrP)


Containment Requirements: Biosafety level 3 facilities, practices and containment equipment for activities involving these agents; also listed under biosafety level 2 with special precautions; level of containment will depend on the nature of the manipulations and the amount of sera, bio/necropsy materials handled

Protective Clothing: Gown and gloves when handling potentially infectious materials; eye protection may also be indicated

Other Precautions: Extreme care must be taken to avoid accidental autoinoculation or other parenteral inoculations of infectious tissues and fluids


Spills: Allow any potential aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towel and apply 1N sodium hydroxide, starting at perimeter and working towards the center; allow sufficient contact time (1 hour) before clean up

Disposal: Decontaminate before disposal; steam sterilization (132·C for 1 hour), disinfection with 1N sodium hydroxide for 1 hour, incineration

Storage: In sealed containers that are appropriately labeled

The main precaution to be taken by laboratorians working with prion-infected or contaminated material is to avoid accidental puncture of the skin.3 Persons handling contaminated specimens should wear cut-resistant gloves if possible. If accidental contamination of unbroken skin occurs, the area should be washed with detergent and abundant quantities of warm water (avoid scrubbing); brief exposure (1 minute to 1N NaOH or a 1:10 dilution of bleach) can be considered for maximum safety.6 Additional guidance related to occupational injury are provided in the WHO infection control guidelines.6 Unfixed samples of brain, spinal cord, and other tissues containing human prions should be processed with extreme care in a BSL-2 facility utilizing BSL-3 practices.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Although the eventual total number of variant CJD cases resulting from BSE transmission to humans is unknown, a review of the epidemiological data from the United Kingdom indicates that BSE transmission to humans is not efficient.9 The most prudent approach is to study BSE prions at a minimum in a BSL-2 facility utilizing BSL-3 practices. When performing necropsies on large animals where there is an opportunity that the worker may be accidentally splashed or have contact with high-risk materials (e.g., spinal column, brain) personnel should wear full body coverage personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, rear closing gown and face shield). Disposable plasticware, which can be discarded as a dry regulated medical waste, is highly recommended. Because the paraformaldehyde vaporization procedure does not diminish prion titers, BSCs must be decontaminated with 1N NaOH and rinsed with water. HEPA filters should be bagged out and incinerated. Although there is no evidence to suggest that aerosol transmission occurs in the natural disease, it is prudent to avoid the generation of aerosols or droplets during the manipulation of tissues or fluids and during the necropsy of experimental animals. It is further strongly recommended that impervious gloves be worn for activities that provide the opportunity for skin contact with infectious tissues and fluids.

The main precaution to be taken when working with prion-infected or contaminated material is to avoid puncture of the skin. If accidental contamination of skin occurs, the area is swabbed with In sodium hydroxide (NaOH) for 5 minutes and then washed with copious amounts of water. Unfixed samples of brain, spinal cord, and other tissues containing human prions should be processed with extreme care at BSL 3.

Prions are characterized by extreme resistance to conventional inactivation procedures including irradiation, boiling, dry heat, and chemicals (formalin, betapropiolactone, alcohols). Sterilization of rodent brain extracts with high titers of prions requires autoclaving at 132C for 4.5 hours. Denaturing organic solvents such as phenol or chaotropic reagents such as guanidine isothiocyanate or alkali such as NaOH can also be used for sterilization. Disposable plasticware, which can be discarded as a dry waste, is highly recommended.

Although there is no evidence to suggest that aerosol transmission occurs in the natural disease, it is prudent to avoid the generation of aerosols or droplets during the manipulation of tissues or fluids and during the necropsy of experimental animals. Formaldehyde-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues, especially of the brain, remain infectious. Some investigators recommend that formalin-fixed tissues from suspected cases of prion disease be immersed for 30 min in 96% formic acid or phenol before histopathologic processing, but such treatment may severely distort the microscopic neuropathology.

another interesting aspect of the TSE prion disease is KURU ;

Figure 25. All cooking. including that of human flesh from diseased kinsmen. was done in pits with steam made by pouring water over the hot stones, or cooked in bamboo cylinders in the hot ashes. Children participated in both the butchery and the handling of cooked meat, rubbing their soiled hands in their armpits or hair, and elsewhere on their bodies. They rarely or never washed. Infection with the kuru virus was most probably through the cuts and abrasions of the skin. or from nose-picking, rye (eye...tss) rubbing, or mucosal injury.

These detailed descriptions will be published elsewhere but have reaffirmed the oral histories of endocannibalism in the Fore recorded previously12,22–24 and that this practice ceased abruptly at the time of Australian administrative control over the kuru areas. Although isolated events might have occurred for a few years after this prohibition, we are confident that new exposures of individuals to kuru at mortuary feasts would not have occurred after 1960. Not only have no cases of kuru been recorded in people born after 1959 (and only nine were recorded in those born after 1956); but also all the 11 last recorded cases of kuru that we report here were born before 1950. If any source of infection remained, whether from surreptitious cannibalism, possible ground contam-ination with human prions at sites where food was prepared, or other lateral routes, we would expect individuals born after this period to have kuru—especially since children are thought to have had shorter incubation periods than adults. However, no such cases have been observed. Additionally, although a fraction of hamster-adapted scrapie prions have been shown to survive in soil for at least 3 years,25 the mortuary feast practices (during which the entire body would be consumed) were undertaken so that any substantial contamination of soil would not have occurred, and traditional bamboo knives and leaf plates were burned after the feast. Furthermore, no clusters of kuru cases, as seen earlier in the epidemic,26 have been recorded for many years....

Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery

Special Jury Prize Winner, Pacific International Documentary Film Festival 2011.

This is the true story of one of the most incredible and challenging medical detective stories of the 20th Century; a history of human tragedy, adventure and discovery. It is the story of the Fore, a Papuan community immersed in cannibalistic mortuary practices and sorcery in one of the most remote regions on the planet, and the tragic disease that threatened to wipe out their entire population.

In 1961, a young Australian medical researcher, Michael Alpers, puts up his hand to work on a new and strange disease in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. There, he teams up with an American outer, Dr Carleton Gajdusek, who has been in the local Fore region since 1957. For Michael it is the beginning of a lifelong obsession.

Together, they are amidst a major epidemic. It is killing over 200 people a year with devastating effects. It mainly targets women and children. The local people, the Fore, call the disease kuru, their word for shivering. They believe it is caused by sorcery.

Michael and Carleton are baffled by the disease. There are no scientific disciplines to guide them as they attempt to unravel its mysteries. By pure chance, a link is made to a strange transmissible animal disease in sheep, Scrapie. The two kuru researchers embark on a 10-year experiment to see if the fatal degenerative brain disease in humans could be transmissible like Scrapie.

The decision is made to perform an autopsy on a kuru victim and inoculate the kuru material into a chimpanzee. Kigea, ayoung girl in the village is identified as being in the early stages of kuru. Kigea’s family, gives Michael permission to perform an autopsy upon her death.

A brain sample taken from Kigea after her death is flown to the USA and injected into a chimpanzee called Daisy. While Michael follows the progress of the transmission experiment, he starts to collate all the recorded data on kuru and begins to suspect cannibalism as the cause of the spreadof the disease.

Within two years, he diagnoses Daisy with kuru. This is a defining moment. It confirms kuru is transmissible and can cross the species barrier. The revelation, together with epidemiological data collated with anthropologist Shirley Lindenbaum, links the Fore’s mortuary feasts (consumption of dead relatives) to the transmission of kuru. Cannibalism is the cause, and its origin is linked to a rare disease called Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease(CJD), but the story of kuru is far from over.

The infecting agent is the first new pathogen – prions – to be discovered in over 100 years. Research results in two Nobel prizes: it’s discoveries turning scientific understanding upside down, causing rifts in the beliefs ofthe science community.

Then Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE) reared its head in the mid 1980s, and 10 years later the human variant CJD. All eyes turned to kuru, the only model of a prion epidemic in human populations. Many unknowns still surround prion diseases: there is no cure for kuru, or any of the prion diseases. The effects are devastating and unprecedented incubation periods can extend beyond 50 years.

Michael is the key and heart to this story, providing unique access to the Fore people, and the world’s other leading authorities on the matter; including Americans Prof. DC Gajdusek (Nobel Prize 1976), Prof. Stan Prusiner (Nobel Prize 1997), Prof Shirley Lindenbaum (Anthropologist) and British Prof. John Collinge (Director, MRC Prion Unit, UK).

Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery combines history, science and anthropology to tell a unique and ongoing ‘history of science’ documentary spanning five decades. It intertwines the thinking of great minds, locally and internationally, to reveal how this rare disease in the remote highlands of PNG exploded to international attention and how Prion research has now revealed we are all descendants of a remote past of cannibal practices.

Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery Australian scientist Michael Alpers dedicated over 50 years to researching Kuru, an obscure and incurable brain disease unique to the Fore people of New Guinea. Kuru was once thought to be a psychosomatic illness, an infection, a genetic disorder, even a sorcerer's curse, but Alpers' findings pointed to cannibalism as the culprit. Yet a recent discovery has proven to be even more disturbing: the malady is linked to mad cow disease and its human equivalent, variant CJD. With a decades-long incubation period, could a larger outbreak be on its way?

human flesh taste very sweet


Michael Alpers

First Reports

People of the Kuru region part 1

boy playing with animal bladder, blowing it up like a balloon. ...

People of the Kuru region part 2

Monday, November 19, 2012

Prion in Saliva of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy–Infected Cattle

please see full text ;

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Kiss of a Prion: New Implications for Oral Transmissibility

kind regards,