The Priority position paper: Protecting Europe's food chain from prions.

Jesús R Requena 1, * Krister Kristensson 2 Carsten Korth 3 Chiara Zurzolo 4 Mario Simmons 5 Patricia Aguilar-Calvo 6 Adriano Aguzzi 7 Olivier Andreoletti 8 Sylvie L Benestad 9 Reinhard Böhm 10 Karen Brown 11 Byron Calgua 12 José Antonio Del Río 13 Juan Carlos Espinosa 6 Rosina Girones 12 Sue Godsave 14 Ludwig E Hoelzle 10 Michael R Knittler 15 Franziska Kuhn 16 Giuseppe Legname 17 Paul Laeven 18 Neil Mabbott 11 Eva Mitrova 7, 19 Andreas Müller-Schiffmann 3 Mario Nuvolone 7 Peter J Peters 20 Alex Raeber 16 Klaus Roth 21 Matthias Schmitz 22 Björn Schroeder 16 Tiziana Sonati 7 Lothar Stitz 15 Albert Taraboulos 23 Juan María Torres 6 Zheng-Xin Yan 21 Inga Zerr 24, 22
Abstract : Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) created a global European crisis in the 1980s and 90s, with very serious health and economic implications. Classical BSE now appears to be under control, to a great extent as a result of a global research effort that identified the sources of prions in meat and bone meal (MBM) and developed new animal-testing tools that guided policy. Priority ( www.prionpriority.eu ) was a European Union (EU) Framework Program 7 (FP7)-funded project through which 21 European research institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) joined efforts between 2009 and 2014, to conduct coordinated basic and applied research on prions and prion diseases. At the end of the project, the Priority consortium drafted a position paper ( www.prionpriority.eu/Priority position paper) with its main conclusions. In the present opinion paper, we summarize these conclusions. With respect to the issue of re-introducing ruminant protein into the feed-chain, our opinion is that sustaining an absolute ban on feeding ruminant protein to ruminants is essential. In particular, the spread and impact of non-classical forms of scrapie and BSE in ruminants is not fully understood and the risks cannot be estimated. Atypical prion agents will probably continue to represent the dominant form of prion diseases in the near future in Europe. Atypical L-type BSE has clear zoonotic potential, as demonstrated in experimental models. Similarly, there are now data indicating that the atypical scrapie agent can cross various species barriers. More epidemiological data from large cohorts are necessary to reach any conclusion on the impact of its transmissibility on public health. Re-evaluations of safety precautions may become necessary depending on the outcome of these studies. Intensified searching for molecular determinants of the species barrier is recommended, since this barrier is key for important policy areas and risk assessment. Understanding the structural basis for strains and the basis for adaptation of a strain to a new host will require continued fundamental research, also needed to understand mechanisms of prion transmission, replication and how they cause nervous system dysfunction and death. Early detection of prion infection, ideally at a preclinical stage, also remains crucial for development of effective treatment strategies.
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Prion, Taylor & Francis, 2016, 10 (3), pp.165-81. <10.1080/19336896.2016.1175801>
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Jesús R Requena, Krister Kristensson, Carsten Korth, Chiara Zurzolo, Mario Simmons, et al.. The Priority position paper: Protecting Europe's food chain from prions.. Prion, Taylor & Francis, 2016, 10 (3), pp.165-81. <10.1080/19336896.2016.1175801>. <pasteur-01510185>

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