Creuztfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare but fatal disease in humans. For the first time, the presence of infectivity in the blood of patients affected by sporadic and the new variant of CJD was established by scientists from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the French National Veterinary School (ENVT), in collaboration with European partners. Complementary investigations are underway, but the available results support the contention that CJD might be transmitted by blood transfusion and/or the use of blood derived products. These results are published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on 11 December 2013.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the accumulation of a misfolded protein, called prion, in the tissues of affected individuals. In humans, there are different forms of the disease. A familial form (genetic origin), a sporadic form (unknown origin) and a form called 'variant', appeared in 1996 as a consequence of dietary exposure to the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy agent (BSE or 'mad cow disease').
Several countries ( France, Uk, USA, Japan…) have reported that the use of a growth hormone or meninx graft, originating from patients affected or incubating the disease, were responsible for the transmission between individuals of CJD. In the UK, based on epidemiological data, at least four variant CJD contaminations were considered to be the consequence of the transfusion of non leuko-depleted blood units that had been prepared from donorsincubating the disease.
Breaking result: the blood of patients affected by CJD carries infectivity