Advancing Prion Science: Guidance for the National Prion by Institute of Medicine, Medical Follow-Up Agency, Committee

By Institute of Medicine, Medical Follow-Up Agency, Committee on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies: Assessment of Relevant Science, Laura B. Sivitz, Rick Erdtmann

Offers a file from the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies recommending study to shut major gaps in current wisdom of prion ailments and strategies for strengthening the U.S. study infrastructure for learning those ailments. Softcover. DNLM: Prion illnesses, prevention & control--United States.

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6: Fund research to identify safe, cost-effective disposal mechanisms for animals and rendered waste infected with agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. This research would best be conducted with a multidisciplinary approach involving experts in such fields as prion biology, biochemistry, environmental engineering, and commercial disposal technology. Since the destruction of prions is so difficult, an alternative approach to prevention is to change host resistance to prion infection.

Policies make this country highly resistant to the introduction and spread of the BSE agent (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and Tuskegee University Center for Computational Epidemiology, 2001). 18 ADVANCING PRION SCIENCE Policy recommendations are beyond the scope of this committee’s charge. However, further research could help beef processors detect ruminant CNS tissue in their products. S. beef processors in 2002 and found that 35 percent of the samples contained CNS and CNS-associated tissues (FSIS, 2003).

Second, confusion exists within the TSE research community about biosafety-level (BSL) requirements. Formal standards should replace the presently informal and inconsistent guidance in this area. Third, it often takes years to reach experimental end points because prion diseases have relatively long incubation periods. This makes it difficult to attract doctoral and postdoctoral fellows, whose academic programs last for a relatively short time. 1: Provide funds to attract and train more investigators in prion disease research.

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