Prion Dormancy and Disease

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Science  03 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5702, pp. 1692-1693
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106679

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There are reports that the variant Creutzfedlt-Jacob disease (vCJD) epidemic in the United Kingdom is on the wane, having peaked at 150 cases. However, as Carrell points out in a taut Perspective, two surveys in the United Kingdom compounded by a new study of transgenic mice carrying variant forms of the human prion protein ( Wadsworth et al.) suggest that there may be many dormant carriers of vCJD, who remain healthy but potentially could be infective to susceptible individuals.