17 July 1997
BSE can cross to humans
BSE can be transmitted to
Research at the Institute for Animal Health in Newbury, Berkshire,
shows that infectious proteins, or prions, from contaminated beef, can
transmit to human tissue to trigger brain infections.
The researchers admit there are other factors that might figure in
any transmission. James Hope, who led the research, said: We have shown
there is a molecular barrier between cows and humans, but its not
an absolute barrier. Its just a question of efficiency. The research
has also confirmed that scrapie, which affects sheep, can be transmitted
to human beings.