Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
By Kevin Pan
By Kevin Pan
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Introduce the topic of your paper. What microorganisms are of interest? Habitat? Applications for medicine and/or environment?
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
There are three variations of this disease: variant, sporadic and familial. Variant is caused by the consumption of infected food. Sporadic CJD is what causes the majority of CJD and occurs at random—the trigger for this form is currently unknown. Familial CJD is when a genetic mutation causes the formation of the abnormal prions. This disease has an onset usually in the 45 to 75-year old age group, with peak onset between 60 and 65 years (Collinge 2001). This disease has a high mortality rate, with around 70% of those affected dying within 6 months. In about 1/3 of the cases, patients present symptoms of fatigue, depression, weight loss, headaches and insomnia.
Another disease that is similar to BSE is Kuru, which is a neurological disorder that is found in the Fore people of Papua New Guinea contracted. There was a peak mortality rate of 2%. After numerous studies, it is now understood that this disease was transferred among tribe members due to their funerary cannibalistic rituals. This disease was first noted in the mid 1950’s and was found long after cannibalistic rituals ended in that region. This disease is characterized by tremors, headaches, coordination problems and arm and leg pain. This disease primarily affected women and children because they were the primary participants in the funerary rituals, so many villages ended up becoming desolate of women (Mead et al 2009).
Recently, a Texas man died and autopsies revealed that he died of mad cow disease. This was only fourth reported vCJD case in the world since 2012. Researchers are trying to determine how he could have been infected with this disease. They found out that the man was a US citizen that was born outside of the United States and had been previously exposed to the BSE/vCJD agent in either Kuwait, Lebanon or Russia. The Canadian Food inspection Agency also recently confirmed another case of mad cow disease in a cow from Alberta. However, no part of the cow has entered the human food or animal feed systems.