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1.  Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Final Assessment 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2012;18(6):901-907.
The book on iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans is almost closed. This form of CJD transmission via medical misadventures was first detected in 1974. Today, only occasional CJD cases with exceptionally long incubation periods still appear. The main sources of the largest outbreaks were tissues from human cadavers with unsuspected CJD that were used for dura mater grafts and growth hormone extracts. A few additional cases resulted from neurosurgical instrument contamination, corneal grafts, gonadotrophic hormone, and secondary infections from blood transfusions. Although the final solution to the problem of iatrogenic CJD is still not available (a laboratory test to identify potential donors who harbor the infectious agent), certain other measures have worked well: applying special sterilization of penetrating surgical instruments, reducing the infectious potential of donor blood and tissue, and excluding donors known to have higher than normal risk for CJD.
doi:10.3201/eid1806.120116
PMCID: PMC3358170  PMID: 22607808
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; dura mater; human growth hormone; iatrogenic disease; PRNP codon 129; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; prions and related diseases
2.  Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in eleven countries: diagnostic pattern across time, 1993–2002 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:278.
Background
The objective of this study was to describe the diagnostic panorama of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies across 11 countries.
Methods
From data collected for surveillance purposes, we describe annual proportions of deaths due to different human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in eleven EUROCJD-consortium countries over the period 1993–2002, as well as variations in the use of diagnostic tests. Using logistic models we quantified international differences and changes across time.
Results
In general, pre-mortem use of diagnostic investigations increased with time. International differences in pathological confirmation of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, stable over time, were evident. Compared to their counterparts, some countries displayed remarkable patterns, such as: 1) the high proportion, increasing with time, of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom, (OR 607.99 95%CI 84.72–4363.40), and France (OR 18.35, 95%CI 2.20–152.83); 2) high, decreasing proportions of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in France, (OR 5.81 95%CI 4.09–8.24), and the United Kingdom, (OR 1.54 95%CI 1.03–2.30); and, 3) high and stable ratios of genetic forms in Slovakia (OR 21.82 95%CI 12.42–38.33) and Italy (OR 2.12 95%CI 1.69–2.68).
Conclusion
Considerable international variation in aetiological subtypes of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies was evident over the observation period. With the exception of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in France and the United Kingdom, these differences persisted across time.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-278
PMCID: PMC1665456  PMID: 17096829
3.  Prions in the Urine of Patients with Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(6):530-539.
BACKGROUND
Prions, the infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, consist mainly of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc). The unique mechanism of transmission and the appearance of a variant form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, which has been linked to consumption of prion-contaminated cattle meat, have raised concerns about public health. Evidence suggests that variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease prions circulate in body fluids from people in whom the disease is silently incubating.
METHODS
To investigate whether PrPSc can be detected in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to amplify minute quantities of PrPSc, enabling highly sensitive detection of the protein. We analyzed urine samples from several patients with various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and genetic forms of prion disease), patients with other degenerative or nondegenerative neurologic disorders, and healthy persons.
RESULTS
PrPSc was detectable only in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and had the typical electrophoretic profile associated with this disease. PrPSc was detected in 13 of 14 urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and in none of the 224 urine samples obtained from patients with other neurologic diseases and from healthy controls, resulting in an estimated sensitivity of 92.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66.1 to 99.8) and a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI, 98.4 to 100.0). The PrPSc concentration in urine calculated by means of quantitative PMCA was estimated at 1×10−16 g per milliliter, or 3×10−21 mol per milliliter, which extrapolates to approximately 40 to 100 oligomeric particles of PrPSc per milliliter of urine.
CONCLUSIONS
Urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease contained minute quantities of PrPSc. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1404401
PMCID: PMC4162740  PMID: 25099577
5.  Glycoform-Selective Prion Formation in Sporadic and Familial Forms of Prion Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58786.
The four glycoforms of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) variably glycosylated at the two N-linked glycosylation sites are converted into their pathological forms (PrPSc) in most cases of sporadic prion diseases. However, a prominent molecular characteristic of PrPSc in the recently identified variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr) is the absence of a diglycosylated form, also notable in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD), which is linked to mutations in PrP either from Val to Ile at residue 180 (fCJDV180I) or from Thr to Ala at residue 183 (fCJDT183A). Here we report that fCJDV180I, but not fCJDT183A, exhibits a proteinase K (PK)-resistant PrP (PrPres) that is markedly similar to that observed in VPSPr, which exhibits a five-step ladder-like electrophoretic profile, a molecular hallmark of VPSPr. Remarkably, the absence of the diglycosylated PrPres species in both fCJDV180I and VPSPr is likewise attributable to the absence of PrPres glycosylated at the first N-linked glycosylation site at residue 181, as in fCJDT183A. In contrast to fCJDT183A, both VPSPr and fCJDV180I exhibit glycosylation at residue 181 on di- and monoglycosylated (mono181) PrP prior to PK-treatment. Furthermore, PrPV180I with a typical glycoform profile from cultured cells generates detectable PrPres that also contains the diglycosylated PrP in addition to mono- and unglycosylated forms upon PK-treatment. Taken together, our current in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that sporadic VPSPr and familial CJDV180I share a unique glycoform-selective prion formation pathway in which the conversion of diglycosylated and mono181 PrPC to PrPSc is inhibited, probably by a dominant-negative effect, or by other co-factors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058786
PMCID: PMC3602448  PMID: 23527023
6.  Constant Transmission Properties of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in 5 Countries 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2012;18(10):1574-1579.
Current diagnostic criteria should be sufficient to detect new cases of vCJD.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has been reported in 12 countries. We hypothesized that a common strain of agent is responsible for all vCJD cases, regardless of geographic origin. To test this hypothesis, we inoculated strain-typing panels of wild-type mice with brain material from human vCJD case-patients from France, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United States. Mice were assessed for clinical disease, neuropathologic changes, and glycoform profile; results were compared with those for 2 reference vCJD cases from the United Kingdom. Transmission to mice occurred from each sample tested, and data were similar between non-UK and UK cases, with the exception of the ranking of mean clinical incubation times of mouse lines. These findings support the hypothesis that a single strain of infectious agent is responsible for all vCJD infections. However, differences in incubation times require further subpassage in mice to establish any true differences in strain properties between cases.
doi:10.3201/eid1810.120792
PMCID: PMC3471642  PMID: 23017202
Prion; strain; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; transmission properties; CJD; vCJD; TSE; BSE; prions; United States; the Netherlands; France; Italy; United Kingdom; USA; UK
8.  Regulating Factors of PrPres Glycosylation in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease - Implications for the Dissemination and the Diagnosis of Human Prion Strains 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2786.
Objective
The glycoprofile of pathological prion protein (PrPres) is widely used as a diagnosis marker in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and is thought to vary in a strain-specific manner. However, that the same glycoprofile of PrPres always accumulates in the whole brain of one individual has been questioned. We aimed to determine whether and how PrPres glycosylation is regulated in the brain of patients with sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Methods
PrPres glycoprofiles in four brain regions from 134 patients with sporadic or variant CJD were analyzed as a function of the genotype at codon 129 of PRNP and the Western blot type of PrPres.
Results
The regional distribution of PrPres glycoforms within one individual was heterogeneous in sporadic but not in variant CJD. PrPres glycoforms ratio significantly correlated with the genotype at codon 129 of the prion protein gene and the Western blot type of PrPres in a region-specific manner. In some cases of sCJD, the glycoprofile of thalamic PrPres was undistinguishable from that observed in variant CJD.
Interpretation
Regulations leading to variations of PrPres pattern between brain regions in sCJD patients, involving host genotype and Western blot type of PrPres may contribute to the specific brain targeting of prion strains and have direct implications for the diagnosis of the different forms of CJD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002786
PMCID: PMC2464735  PMID: 18665216

Results 1-8 (8)