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Coming soon: Quick, sensitive detection of human prion disease.

Washington, May 10 (ANI): In a major breakthrough, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have developed a method-10,000 times more sensitive than other methods-to detect variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (vCJD) in blood plasma.

vCJD is a type of prion disease in humans that leads to brain damage and death.

The NIAID researchers also used the test to rapidly detect scrapie, a prion disease of sheep, in infected hamsters, some pre-symptomatic.

Collaborating with scientists from Switzerland-based Prionics AG, the NIAID group combined an antibody-based approach with an improved real-time quaking-induced protein conversion (RT-QuIC) reaction. RT-QuIC, developed in recent years, detects when normal prion protein converts to an abnormal form

The resulting test-which they call enhanced QuIC (eQuIC)-improves prospects for routinely detecting low levels of abnormal prions in tissues, fluids or environmental samples such as soil.

The group plans to study eQuIC as a potential tool to diagnose various prion diseases in different animals. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 10, 2011
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