Monday, August 06, 2012

Everyone At Risk From Mad Cow Disease

By John von Radowitz, Science Correspondent, PA News

No one is immune to the human form of mad cow disease, variant CJD, new research suggests today.

Some people whose genetic make-up normally acts as a barrier against infection may ultimately develop a different and so-far unrecognised type of disease, it is claimed.

Scientists have shown that individuals with a pair of genes known as MM about a third of the population acquire vCJD relatively easily.

No one with a different paring, VV, has been known to suffer the disease.

Then in August it emerged that a patient from a mixed MV genetic group had been infected with vCJD from contaminated blood, without showing any symptoms. Just over half the population has the MV pairing.

The news sparked fears of a mad cow disease timebomb in the population, with thousands of people unwittingly carrying the brain disease on a long incubation fuse. Read more…

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