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 (3,187 Responses)
  1. iskenderun escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 7, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. SF Examiner CBD Lube

    A lot of blog writers nowadays however just a few have blog posts worth spending time on reviewing.


    February 7, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. NncsZisse

    dapoxetine super viagra buy viagra online in usa viagra melbourne vic

    February 7, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. adana escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 7, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Best Mutual Funds

    There is perceptibly a lot to realize about this. I think you made certain nice points in features also.


    February 8, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    Excellent article! We are linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    February 8, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. wearegeneralnews health

    Well I definitely liked studying it. This post offered by you is very constructive for correct planning.

    February 8, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. wearegeneralnews

    Its really a nice and helpful piece of info. Im glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    February 8, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Felipe Gribble

    Was ist die beste Website für die Jobsuche? teilzeitjobs


    February 8, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Corrina Counselman

    Hi there, I found your website via Google while looking for a related topic, your website came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.


    February 8, 2021 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. vuasongbac

    I love this recipe


    February 8, 2021 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. thesufitrader

    Awesome content


    February 8, 2021 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 출장


    February 8, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증커뮤니티


    February 8, 2021 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. FqhhEncox

    brand viagra buy prescription drugs without doctor online pharmacy viagra

    February 8, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. TrevorOKiehm

    It's actually a nice and useful bit of info. I am just glad that you simply shared this helpful information along with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    my web-site :: TrevorOKiehm

    February 8, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 메이저사이트


    February 9, 2021 at 00:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JbbvEncox

    canada pharmacy best online canadian pharcharmy approved canadian pharmacies online

    February 9, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. https://dr-goz-peter-ugyved.business.site/

    What i do not understood is in fact how you're now not really much more neatly-liked than you may be right now. You're so intelligent. You realize thus significantly in the case of this matter, produced me for my part imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren't interested except it's something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always handle it up!


    February 9, 2021 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. https://g.page/fokuszpalyazat

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen


    February 9, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Domonique Mutone

    Hey, Have you ever been so excited that you just want to jump out of your chair and go flying through the roof?!? That's about how I'm feeling right now. Quite frequently I'll send out an email about something that I'm really excited about. This works. And it will be of EXTREME value to you. It's worked for so many people – myself included. If it's worked for us, it can work for you too. Just make sure you act fast so you don’t miss out. Trust me when I tell you that you’ll kick yourself if you lose out on this! http://tvc.in/2vp3l


    February 9, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Europa-Road

    hello!,I like your writing so a lot! percentage we communicate extra about your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that's you! Looking ahead to peer you.


    February 9, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 먹튀검증


    February 9, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Learn More

    Great blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am bookmarking your feeds also


    February 9, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. House Clearance Barry

    I envy your work, thanks for all the useful blog posts.


    February 9, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 토토사이트추천


    February 9, 2021 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 토토사이트


    February 9, 2021 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 토토사이트

    This is the right webpage for anybody who wishes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that has been written about for many years. Great stuff, just wonderful!


    February 9, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 먹튀천국


    February 9, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. AhkdEncox

    pharmacy uk canadian pharmacies top best hormones

    February 9, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 40 mg tadalafil

    tadalafil tablets 40mg https://tadalisxs.com/ tadalafil vidalista

    February 9, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. buy hydroxychloroquine

    how safe is hydroxychloroquine https://hydroxychloroquinex.com/ how long has hydroxychloroquine been around

    February 9, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. hydroxychloroquine sulfate plaquenil

    why does erectile dysfunction happen https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile coffee

    February 9, 2021 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. zithromax.com

    z pack indications https://zithromaxes.com/ zpack for uti

    February 10, 2021 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 출장

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is extremely good.


    February 10, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. best cheap dumpster rental

    I’m very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.


    February 10, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. wallet with notebook

    I am just curious to find out what blog platform you possess been dealing with?
    I'm having some small security problems with my latest
    blog and I would personally like to find something
    more safeguarded. Do you possess any suggestions?

    my page ... wallet with notebook

    February 10, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. TechNews

    Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account appear to get something done.


    February 10, 2021 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Asphalt roofers in Boston Massachusetts

    I needed to compose you the very little observation to be able to give thanks as before for your amazing ideas you have shown here. It is really extremely generous with people like you to grant publicly precisely what a few individuals could have offered for an electronic book in making some profit on their own, most notably considering the fact that you could have tried it if you ever desired. These good ideas as well served as a great way to understand that other people have a similar zeal much like mine to know whole lot more when it comes to this matter. I'm certain there are many more fun periods up front for individuals who go through your site.


    February 10, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. JbnvCrulk

    money expert student loan calculator payday loan glen carbon il cash loans sunshine coast

    February 10, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. FvfcZisse

    best place to buy viagra in sydney viagra online sales buy viagra super force

    February 11, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. KellyXHanser

    Hurrah! Finally I purchased a internet site from which I can really get useful data regarding my study and knowledge.

    my web blog – KellyXHanser

    February 11, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 메이저사이트

    Iím amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I stumbled across this during my search for something relating to this.


    February 11, 2021 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 먹튀천국

    You're so cool! I do not believe I've truly read something like this before. So nice to find another person with a few original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    February 11, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 먹튀사이트


    February 11, 2021 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 먹튀천국


    February 11, 2021 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Catlin



    February 11, 2021 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. frolep rotrem

    Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!


    February 11, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. LabxEncox

    using half cialis cialis good and bad qual ГЁ differenza tra cialis e viagra

    February 12, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 출장마사지


    February 12, 2021 at 17:32 | 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 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

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.