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

Provides a document 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. learn infrastructure for learning those ailments. Softcover. DNLM: Prion illnesses, prevention & control--United States.

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S. S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, 2001). NPRP funds research on TSEs, with special emphasis on developing an antemortem diagnostic test. S. Department of Defense (DOD) administer the new project, which was delegated to the Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC). MRMC administers grants through a two-tiered process of external scientific peer review, followed by programmatic review by a multidisciplinary group of DOD and civilian experts called an integration panel. MRMC requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) produce two reports assessing present scientific knowledge about TSEs and recommending the highest-priority research for funding (Department of Army Contract DAMD17-02-C-0094, May 2002).

Cliver, University of California, Davis, 2003). 1: Fund research to improve rapid, accurate, and affordable screening assays for central nervous system (CNS) tissue such that the assays can specifically identify CNS material from cattle in processed meat products. Economic Impact of a Single BSE Case The consequences of a single case of BSE discovered in a Canadian cow in May 2003 offered a glimpse of what the United States might experience if a case of BSE were to occur here. Separately, a federal interagency working group concluded that a single case of BSE in the United States could have a greater economic impact on this country than the BSE epidemic has had cumulatively on the United Kingdom (PL 107-9 Federal Inter-agency Working Group, 2003).

As discussed above, prions are made from normal host protein that is misfolded, so the host does not recognize them as foreign or mobilize a typical immune response as it does with pathogens containing DNA or RNA. This stymies the use of vaccines to prevent TSEs because vaccines work by exploiting the body’s natural immune response. , 2002). Treatment for Human TSEs Many therapeutic agents used to treat human TSEs have produced disappointing results (Brown, 2002). Treatment barriers include the inability to diagnose TSEs in early preclinical stages, the appearance of clinical signs only after advanced CNS infection, the failure of many agents to cross the blood–brain barrier, intrinsic toxicity associated with the therapeutic agents, and difficulties in translating promising therapeutic results from the research laboratory to the clinic.

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