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Ann Ital Med Int. 1998 Oct-Dec;13(4):209-16.

[Prion diseases. The association of bovine spongiform encephalopathy with new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica Specialistica e Sperimentale, Università degli Studi di Bologna.


This review summarizes current knowledge of prion diseases and investigates connections between the bovine spongiform encephalopathy epidemic, observed in Great Britain since 1986, and the new variant of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, reported for the first time in 1996. Information from the international literature and results of the most recent experimental studies on prion diseases and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are evaluated, and particular attention is focused on the possible transmission of the etiological agents of spongiform encephalopathy, the prions, from animals to humans. Epidemiological, clinical, and histopathological data and experimental results seem to confirm the suspected link between bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In this context, transmission of prions from infected cattle to humans by oral intake seems not only possible but also very probable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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