挥之不去的疯牛病阴影

乐观主义者称牛海绵状脑病,亦称“疯牛病”可以致人死命的新型变体克雅氏病(CJD)正在逐渐消失。显而易见,鉴于变异型克雅氏病曾经造成的痛苦和给公众带来的忧虑,它可能的消退无疑是个好消息。但情况真的是这样吗?

克雅氏病是所谓朊病毒疾病的一种,这种疾病包括特定的一些能够传染的退行性神经疾病。尽管疾病传播的准确特质还不太清楚,但其主要的结果是导致正常的朊蛋白细胞转化为一种非正常形式,从而构成主要(甚至是唯一)的感染原因。

人们对变异型克雅氏病的认识始于1996年,当时位于爱丁堡的英国全国克雅氏病调查局(NCJDSU)开展了高强度的监控活动。这种新形式的朊病毒疾病具有与众不同的临床和病理特征,主要感染同一基因分组中的年轻病人。

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