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DL-983: Prion Diseases, 1 CE

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Rebecca A. Rosser, MS,MBA, CLS, MT(ASCP)DLM - Educational and Development Consultant - Laboratory - Kaiser Permanente - SCPMG Regional Reference Laboratory Approved for 1.0 CE Level of Difficulty: Intermediate CAMLT is approved by the California Department of Public Health as a CA CLS Accrediting Agency (#21) The headlines in Britain shouted messages such as “Bring Back the Beef,” and “Scientists baffled by mystery of new BSE cases.” In 1985 an epidemic of Mad Cow Disease began devastation in the beef industry in the United Kingdom that jolted the world. A disease among the cows was diagnosed as being caused by a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), also known as a prion disease. TSEs are responsible for a number of animal and human conditions that were first thought to be caused by a virus. Research has indicated that the causative infectious agent does not contain a nucleic acid genome, therefore cannot be a virus. Others speculate that the agent is a virino, which is a small non-coding regulatory nucleic acid coated with a host-derived protective protein. Still others believe the agent is a prion. In both humans and animals this agent causes progressive brain damage and ultimately death.

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