30,000 may carry human form of mad cow
October 15th, 2013
04:06 PM ET

30,000 may carry human form of mad cow

Up to 30,000 people in Britain may be silent carriers of the human form of mad cow disease, according to new research published Tuesday.

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) is the human form of the fatal brain-wasting disease found in cows called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) - better known as mad cow disease.  So far there have only been 177 confirmed human cases in the United Kingdom, according to the study. Forty-nine more cases have been reported in 11 other countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Previous research suggested maybe 1 in 4,000 people living in Britain were carrying the protein that causes vCJD, says Dr. Sebastian Brandner, one of the study authors and head of the Division of Neuropathology at Queen Square, one of the largest academic neuropathology departments in the UK. But that estimate was made using a smaller sample, says Brandner.

This new study, published Tuesday in the medical journal BMJ, was much larger. Researchers studied appendix samples from 32,441 people and found 16 that tested positive for vCJD. Given that population of the United Kingdom is a little over 60 million, Brandner says that means about 1 in 2,000 people - or roughly 30,000 people total - have this potentially lethal prion.

Brandner says the peak of mad cow disease was in 1992, and the peak of the human form of mad cow disease occurred in 2000. This suggests there is an 8-year incubation period for the disease. However, his research has revealed that there are at least three different forms of the prion protein linked to vCJD, which might explain why more people haven't become sick with the disease - yet.

"These people may harbor that [vCJD] for a longer time; they may develop a different type of prion disease; they may be silent carriers," says Brandner.

He says there's one definite concern: that these silent carriers may be potentially transmitting the disease.

There is no blood test to detect vCJD, so someone could unknowingly pass the prion protein on to others when they give blood, and prions are not destroyed by standard sterilization methods usually used for surgical instruments – only harsher, stronger sterilization procedures will kill them.

According to WHO, the human form of mad cow disease was first reported in the United Kingdom in March 1996 and the first cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1986.  More than 184,000 cows in the UK were eventually confirmed to have BSE.

The average age of death for vCJD is about 28 years, according to the CDC, which is one way it distinguishes itself from classic Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease; classic CJD emerged more than a century ago and affects older people. The average age for this disease, which is not linked to the consumption of meat from cattle with BSE, is 68.

In an accompanying editorial in the journal, Roland Salmon, a retired consultant epidemiologist, argues that vCJD is not yesterday's news because there are many questions that still need to be answered. He notes that blood tests that could be used widely for screening and diagnosing vCJD are still elusive. He also suggests that the number of precautions taken to secure the blood supply to prevent transmission (which can be costly) needs to continue, because even though there have been only 171 cases of vCJD in the UK, this new research confirms that there could be more cases in the futures.  

Salmon also points out that the UK has been leading in the field of prion research in animal and human diseases. Since more research is needed,  “further disinvestment [in this type of research] would be premature.”

soundoff (1,370 Responses)
  1. 먹튀


    April 20, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. slot

    I really like this topic so much.Thanks for sharing a good content like this.It's very informative for everyone.Keep it up.Thanks again. slot


    April 21, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 먹튀검증

    Hello, There's no doubt that your site might be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful site!


    April 21, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. tadalafil pills 20mg

    generic tadalafil 40 mg https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil max dose

    April 21, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 먹튀검증업체


    April 21, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 먹튀검증업체


    April 21, 2021 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 먹튀검증


    April 21, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. kaos distro anak

    Does your website have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd like to shoot you an e-mail. I've got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.


    April 21, 2021 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. jual kaos distro

    Great blog here! Additionally your website lots up very fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I get your associate link on your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol


    April 21, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 먹튀검증


    April 22, 2021 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 먹튀검증


    April 22, 2021 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 먹튀


    April 22, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. how can i order cialis from a canadian pharmacy

    canadian viagra cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ buying canadian cialis

    April 22, 2021 at 03:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your web site.


    April 22, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. betflix

    เนื่องจากว่าสเต็ปนี้เพราะเหตุไรถึงมีผลกำไรมากยิ่งกว่าปิงปอง betflix ก็เพราะปิงปองจะออกสลับกัน1-1
    แม้กระนั้นสเต็ป2-1-2นั้น เสมือนเป็นการเบิ้ลของใงใดฝั่งหนึ่งนั่นเอง ยิ่งเริ่มด้วยฝั่งน้พเงินด้วยแล้ว พวกเราจะได้กำไรเต็มๆดอก เพราะว่าเราจะไม่โดนหักค่าน้ำประปา รวมทั้งเป็นการได้กำไรแบบคูณ2เลยก็ว่าได้ แถมตบด้วยสลับไปอีกฝั่งวางเดิมพัน1ไม้ตัดด้วยอีกฝั่งเบิ้ล2ไม้
    ซึ่งสเต็ปนี้มันส์มากๆในหมูเซียนบาคาร่า หรือ ผู้เล่นที่เทคนิคแพรวพราว บอกเลยว่ายังยังไงก็คุ้มค่าที่ได้ใช้สเต็ปนี้

    April 22, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. FbsfEncox

    online pharmacy http://uspharmus.com/ – non prescription online pharmacy reviews mexican pharmacies

    April 23, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LhdvZisse

    generic cialis bestelle http://asciled.com/ – cialis voucher viragecialis

    April 23, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Click Here To See The Best CBD Oil

    Just bookmarked this blog post as I have actually found it fairly valuable.


    April 23, 2021 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    April 23, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 먹튀검증


    April 23, 2021 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 먹튀검증


    April 23, 2021 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. canadian pills pharmacy

    canadian customs pills vitamins https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pills online

    April 23, 2021 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 먹튀사이트


    April 23, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LA Weekly's List

    What an fantastic way of checking out points.


    April 23, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. how long do the effects of vardenafil last

    is vardenafil in the va formulary https://vegavardenafil.com/ levitra (vardenafil)

    April 23, 2021 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RfvbZisse

    cialis american express https://cileve.com/ what color is cialis pill

    April 23, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Entertainment System Riverside


    April 23, 2021 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Forklift Repair Los Angeles


    April 23, 2021 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. realtors near me

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the net. I will recommend this web site!


    April 23, 2021 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. trực tiếp wc 2018

    Hi I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow I am here now and
    would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have
    time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and
    also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

    April 24, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RfvbZisse

    cialis free 30 day supply https://cileve.com/ – order generic cialis online 20 mg 20 pills get cialis to work

    April 24, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 메이저사이트

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    April 24, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. FbsfEncox

    prescription online https://uspharmus.com/ – Trental discount prescription drug

    April 24, 2021 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. houses for sale harrison

    I really like looking through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!


    April 24, 2021 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 토토사이트

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    April 24, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. generic tadalafil 40 mg

    tadalafil 40 https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil dosage

    April 24, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. AbdgEncox

    walmart online pharmacy https://canadianeve21.com/ canadian pharmacies without an rx

    April 24, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 토토사이트

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    April 24, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dong

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post's to be just what I'm looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn't mind producing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome site!


    April 24, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 사설토토


    April 24, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Forklift For Sale


    April 24, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. https://www.laweekly.com/5-best-cbd-oil-companies-to-buy-from-in-2019/

    Just bookmarked this post as I have actually found it rather valuable.


    April 24, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. https://www.chaturbates.net/

    A person necessarily help to make significantly posts I might state.
    This is the first time I frequented your
    website page and to this point? I amazed with the research you made
    to create this actual put up incredible. Magnificent

    My page :: https://www.chaturbates.net/

    April 24, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. LrbsEncox

    levitra price comparison buy levitra 20mg when to take levitra

    April 24, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. LhdvZisse

    cialis dapoxetine australia https://asciled.com/ how can i get cialis fast

    April 24, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. box truck repairs

    This is the perfect website for everyone who hopes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for decades. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    April 24, 2021 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Frame Riverside


    April 24, 2021 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. What Vitamins are Good for Teeth and Gums

    Great post. I am going through a few of these issues as well..

    April 25, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. erectile dysfunction natural remedies

    is erectile dysfunction a disability https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile dysfunction treatment

    April 25, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 토토사이트

    Howdy! This blog post couldnít be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    April 25, 2021 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.