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From: TSS (216-119-132-66.ipset12.wt.net)
Subject: vCJD cases likely haven't peaked
Date: February 2, 2005 at 12:55 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: vCJD cases likely haven't peaked
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 09:39:52 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@LISTSERV.KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

February 01, 2005 Volume 41 Issue 05

vCJD cases likely haven't peaked

By Susannah Benady

LONDON  After 147 deaths from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)
in Britain and five cases ongoing, experts are still divided on how the
epidemic will unfold.

According to research from London's Imperial College, there could be as
few as 70 more cases arising from the consumption of beef infected with
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), although the final tally could
rise to 600 in a worst-case scenario.

In their paper, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface,
Paul Clarke and Dr. Azra Ghani of the college's department of infectious
disease epidemiology, said they based their calculations on a 2003 study
of 12,800 tonsil and appendix samples.

That study found only three samples positive for vCJD. It estimated that
3,800 people in the U.K. could be infected, although Clarke and Dr.
Ghani suggest many infected individuals do not go on to develop clinical
disease in their lifetime.

But Dr. Stephen Dealler, a consultant microbiologist at the Royal
Lancaster Infirmary, pointed out the incidence of the disease has not
followed anyone's forecasts so far.

In an interview, he said it is too early to predict what the disease
will do. It is also too soon to conclude that people can be infected
with the organism yet not develop the full disease.

The only reason cows do not all develop full disease is because they are
slaughtered at the age of two or three years, he said. "We had very
large numbers that give us solid data and we are pretty sure all the
cattle would have developed (BSE) if we'd left them."

The trouble with basing epidemiological predictions on what has been
seen in humans so far is that we do not know enough about how quickly
prions spread through the body, Dr. Dealler said.

"We do not yet know how close to disease patients have to be before they
show prions in the tonsils. If prions reach the tonsils soon after
infection, then the Imperial College numbers are very good. But we don't
know how long it takes for prions to be found in the tonsils of an
infected individualit could be 15 years or more."

Dr. Dealler said it's also too early to conclude the vCJD incidence has
plateaued, despite the fact it hovers around 15 or 20 new cases a year.
"The cases we are seeing, peaking at age 27, must have been infected in
about 1976 to 1980, well before the epidemic of BSE." They could have
arisen, he said, from brain or spinal cord material in baby food.

Later on, during the 1980s and '90s, the average Briton ate 50 meals
containing BSE-infected material, and the incubation period can exceed
20 years.

"The way mathematicians look at the problem, is if they saw 10 cases
last week and the same number for the preceding six weeks, they assume
there will be 10 next week.

"But if you are a biologist, you look at incubation periods, life
expectancy and other factors. . . . The biology of this disease suggests
numbers won't peak until (between) 2010 and 2020."

http://www.medicalpost.com/mpcontent/article.jsp;jsessionid=LCADOKNAGKPK?content=20050131_201543_5876

TSS

######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html ##########






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