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Prion project to assess risk of game meat consumption

Prion project to assess risk of game meat consumption
[Date: 2007-11-08]

An international project with European participation investigating the
transmission risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) on humans will receive
EUR3.5 million from the Alberta Prion Research Institute (APRI) in Canada.
At European level, the study that will involve testing on primates as well
as alternative models will be coordinated by the German Primate Centre (DPZ)
in Göttingen.

Like BSE or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), CWD is a transmissible
spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that affects deer, elk and moose. It is
caused by proteinaceous infectious particles (prions), infectious agents
composed only of protein. Up to 15% of game in North America has already
been infected.

Game meat is an important branch of the economy in Canada. Hence, consumers
of Canadian game meat products might be at risk of contracting CWD if humans
are susceptible.

In the framework of the project entitled 'Comprehensive risk assessment of
Chronic Wasting Disease transmission of humans using non-human primates',
researchers will first extract the prion and then test its effects on
primates when either ingested or transmitted in other ways.

'This research is relevant because there are various infection paths -
either by eating infected game or by coming into contact with the infectious
agent when slaughtering game,' Dr Michael Schwibbe from DPZ told CORDIS
News. Moreover, the disease might spread to other animals that are part of
the human food chain such as sheep.

General project coordination will be in the hands of the Lethbridge
Laboratory at the University of Calgary, Canada. Further participants
include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Hamilton, USA, and - in
addition to the DPZ - the German Robert Koch Institute, the Technical
University of Munich, the neuropathology department of the University
Hospital Göttingen and the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

Dr Schwibbe is sure that the University of Calgary has chosen the right
partners, particularly when selecting the DPZ: 'The DPZ is the only
institute to have gathered experience in this area. We were the obvious

Indeed, the Primate Centre has been involved in comparable research projects
funded by the European Union, such as a study investigating BSE transmission
through food and blood products. Like the new study, which is intended to
start in 2008, this project examines the infectiousness of TSEs - more
specifically the bovine form BSE - for humans by testing on a primate
species the infectious dose in contaminated food.

For further information, please visit:

Category: Miscellaneous
Data Source Provider: German Primate Centre (DPZ)
Document Reference: Based on information from the German Primate Centre
Programme or Service Acronym: FRAMEWORK 5C, FRAMEWORK 5C, LIFE QUALITY, MS-D
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Medicine, Health; Scientific
Research; Veterinary and animal sciences

RCN: 28655


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bigbrie's picture
Joined: 11/09/2007
Posts: 1
Prion project to assess risk of game meat consumption

I'm sorry I thought it said prison project lol neener! neener! neener!