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Discov Med. 2006 Feb;6(31):29-34.

Vaccination against prion diseases.

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Divisions of Immunology and Medical Biotechnology, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Paul-Ehrlich-Str. 51-59, 63225 Langen, Germany.


Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative conditions that affect humans and a wide variety of animals. To date there is no therapeutic or prophylactic approach against prion diseases available. The causative infectious agent is the prion, also termed PrP(Sc), which is a pathological conformer of the cellular prion protein PrP(C). As passive immunization studies with PrP(C)-specific antibodies indicated that immunotherapeutic strategies can prevent prion replication, researchers are now aiming at the development of active prion vaccines.

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