How to limit the spread of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

TitleHow to limit the spread of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsDormont D
JournalInfect Control Hosp Epidemiol
Pagination521 - 8
Date PublishedAug
ISSN0899-823X (Print) 0899-823X (Linking)
Accession Number8875297
Keywords*Biological Products, *Infection Control, Animals, Blood Transfusion, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / *prevention & control / transmission, Humans, Prion Diseases / prevention & control / transmission, Prions / *pathogenicity, Sterilization, Transplantation

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are rare lethal diseases induced in humans and animals by unconventional agents called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agents (TSEAs), virions, or prions. Several cases of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) have been reported in the literature after neurosurgery, treatment with pituitary-derived hormones, corneal grafting, and use of dura mater lyophilisates. In a given infected individual, TSEA-associated infectiousness depends on the nature of the organ: the central nervous system has the highest infectiousness, spleen and lymph nodes a medium infectiousness, and organs such as bone, skin, or skeletal muscles do not harbor any detectable infectiousness in experimental models. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy/prions have unconventional properties; in particular, they resist almost all the chemical and physical processes that inactivate conventional viruses. Therefore, prevention of CJD agent transmission must be taken into account in daily hospital practice. Efficient sterilization procedures should be determined. In tissue and blood donation, donors with a neurologic history must be excluded, and patients treated with pituitary-derived hormones should be considered potentially infected with TSEA and excluded.

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