Have Sheep Been Contaminated

There was much talk of sheep in 2001. At least two questions were being asked. The first and most urgent was whether they could have been contaminated by the BSE agent and whether sheep products could thus be capable of transmitting BSE to humans. The second, not entirely unrelated, question was whether the BSE epidemic could have started with the transmission of scrapie to cattle through the consumption of meat and bone meal (MBM). In Chapter 23 we discussed the possibility that the BSE agent...

Creutzfeldt jakob and others

THE POSTHUMOUS LEGACY of Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt is a strange one. He died in 1964 virtually unknown, but two decades later his name was to be world famous although some today question whether his renown is really justified. In any event, that fame is due to an obscure paper published in 1920 in a German neurological-psychological journal. Creutzfeldt was an exceptional human being an original, independent thinker, and a man whose brusque manner concealed great kindness and profound humility....

The sheep are strangely dizzy

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, which was to conclude with the American and French Revolutions, was also the Age of Enlightenment. The conviction was growing that scientific progress was intended to enable humans to control the world around us Had we not learned to control thunderbolts, thanks to the lightning rod This was the era of Linnaeus, Buffon, and Diderot, and we began cataloguing nature's riches and seeking to employ them in a more rational way. This approach was seen particularly in the areas...

Mad dogs and earthworms

PASTEUR AND KOCH had established that anthrax was caused by a bacterium, but how was it transmitted within a flock That would also be the question a century later for scrapie and BSE. In some flocks, anthrax is endemic from time to time, an animal will succumb to it. In other flocks, it affects a large number of animals within a short space of time, thus becoming epidemic. Furthermore, it can flare up periodically or remain dormant for many years. Koch reported two important facts that advanced...

Scrapie is contagious

THE WORK OF CUILLE AND CHELLE, now fully confirmed by British researchers, indisputably established that scrapie was transmissible. Once introduced into an animal's body, the causative agent multiplied, so that after the proper incubation period the tissues of the animal could be used to infect other animals, and so on. But was scrapie contagious Was it transmitted spontaneously from animal to animal MacFadyean's observations seemed to demonstrate that it could be Think of Mr. A introduced in...

Scrapie is inoculable

ON DECEMBER 28, 1936, the French veterinarians Jean Cuill and PaulLouis Chelle presented to the Acad mie des Sciences a communication titled Is the Disease Known as Scrapie Inoculable They reported having used a variety of techniques to inoculate nine sheep of both sexes with cerebral or medullar matter from a number of animals in the latter stages of scrapie. In the course of the nine months following the inoculation, seven died or were sacrificed for reasons beyond the control of the...

Scrapie under the microscope

IN 1898, THREE YEARS AFTER Pasteur's death, Professor Charles Besnoit of the cole V t rinaire d'Alfort learned that for several years an unknown disease had been ravaging flocks in the Tarn, in southwest France. Mortality had reached 15 to 20 percent, devastating for a region where sheep were important not only for wool and meat, but also for milk used in cheese production. Besnoit soon realized that this unknown disease was scrapie, and he decided to study it becoming the first to do so in a...

From pearl necklace to double helix

In Paris, the United States, and throughout the developed world, students were taking to the streets to protest war, intolerance, and other social ills. How was the hunt for The Disease going A composite sketch was emerging In very similar guises, it attacked sheep and goats as scrapie it affected the Fore people of Papua New Guinea as kuru and it threatened the rest of the human world as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It could be transmitted experimentally both within a...

Kuru and the fore people of papua new guinea

SOME PLANTS AND ANIMALS ARE so-called living fossils. They seem to have survived since time immemorial while their contemporaries fell by the wayside, yielding to new species better adapted to a changing world. As of the mid-twentieth century, the human species too included its share of well-adapted survivors groups cut off from the rest of the world, who lived as our distant ancestors had lived. Among them were a number of ethnic groups on a huge island to the north of Australia, which had...