Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Prions found in urine
news@nature.com ^ | 13 October 2005 | Andreas von Bubnoff

Posted on 10/18/2005 12:23:50 AM PDT by neverdem

Mystery of infections in deer and elk may have a solution.

The protein particles that cause illnesses such as mad cow disease can be found in the urine of infected mice, researchers report.

Their study may solve the mystery of how such 'prion' diseases spread among animals such as sheep, elk and deer. But it also raises concerns that the urine of humans with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) may contain dangerous proteins.

Prions are primarily found in the brain, the spinal cord and the immune system. British cows are thought to have developed the prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by eating ground-up brains, spleens and similar material. Other body parts were thought to be relatively safe for consumption.

Then, in 2003, Adriano Aguzzi's group at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, found prions in the muscle tissue of people who had died from a brain wasting disease. And this January, the team showed in mice that prions also spread to the pancreas, kidneys and liver if there is inflammation in these organs. Together, these findings suggested that the brain and lymphatic organs might not be the only dangerous ones.

Now, Aguzzi and his colleagues have raised further concerns in a paper in Science1.

Protein injection

The researchers took mice with a chronic inflammation of the kidney and infected them with prions. They then concentrated the proteins in their urine tenfold and injected the mixture into the brains of healthy mice. This treatment made the mice sick.

"We knew that we had something really exciting on our hands," Aguzzi says. "I couldn't believe it."

An injection of concentrated proteins from one millilitre of urine caused prion disease in half of the treated mice, Aguzzi says.

The research may explain how animals such as sheep, elk and deer transmit prion diseases. In the United States, a chronic wasting disease is spreading "like wildfire" among elk and deer, says Aguzzi. About 20% of the wild deer in some parts of Colorado are infected, says Aguzzi, and yet these animals are herbivores.

"Nobody understands what controls the spread," says Aguzzi. Dust mites have been suggested as one method of transmission. Aguzzi adds that animals may be eating urine-contaminated grass.

Low doses

An explanation that involves urine has difficulties however. The concentration of prions found in the mouse urine in the experiment was 10,000 times lower than in the lymphatic organs, and a million times less than in the brains, the original site of infection.

Neil Cashman, a prion researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, says that the risk of getting sick by touching or ingesting infected urine is minuscule. He explains that, quite apart from the low concentration of prions in urine, it would take a higher dose of the proteins to cause infection this way than through injection into the brain.

As yet, there are no data on the risk that might be attached to contact with urine from vCJD patients. On the other hand, says Cashman, "nobody wants human prions in the hospital laundry".

References: doi:10.1038/news051010-13
Seeger H. et al. Science, 310. 324 - 326 (2005)


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: prions; urine
Prions and the blood and immune systems


Prions, found in the brains of animals with brain wasting diseases, could be spread through urine. © SPL

1 posted on 10/18/2005 12:23:52 AM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; ..
Stroke risks linked to blood pressure drugs (beta blockers)

Can Brain Scans See Depression?

Bayer Offers New Antibiotic With Promise in Fight on TB

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list. Anyone can post any unrelated link as they see fit.

2 posted on 10/18/2005 12:32:03 AM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

"Then, in 2003, Adriano Aguzzi's group at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, found prions in the muscle tissue of people who had died from a brain wasting disease."

Are cows any different?


3 posted on 10/18/2005 12:36:27 AM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

It all reminds me of Ice-9.


4 posted on 10/18/2005 12:48:30 AM PDT by Bon mots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DB
Are cows any different?

I don't know. I entered bovine myocytes AND prions into PubMed. This was the only result. PrPSc accumulation in myocytes from sheep incubating natural scrapie. Click "Related Articles" if you go to the PubMed link.

5 posted on 10/18/2005 1:18:09 AM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Bon mots

What's Ice-9?


6 posted on 10/18/2005 1:23:36 AM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
What's Ice-9?

From the book by Kurt Vonnegut called Cat's Cradle.

7 posted on 10/18/2005 2:24:45 AM PDT by bruoz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

The Scientologists Were RIGHT!


8 posted on 10/18/2005 2:30:58 AM PDT by ichabod1 (No Retreat! Trap The Rats or Face The Base -- Your Choice, Congress)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ichabod1
The Scientologists Were RIGHT!

What does that mean? How so?

9 posted on 10/18/2005 2:58:18 AM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
In the United States, a chronic wasting disease is spreading "like wildfire" among elk and deer, says Aguzzi. About 20% of the wild deer in some parts of Colorado are infected, says Aguzzi, and yet these animals are herbivores.

That news should be widely circulated. Deer hunters might want to forgo their venison for a long time.

10 posted on 10/18/2005 3:24:35 AM PDT by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Well, to wax colloquially here, there IS the old tale that goes: if a mouse runs over you while you're reclining and urinates on you, you're going to be very sick (and some people think it means death, not illness, will occur).

Might be something to that, afterall.


11 posted on 10/18/2005 3:47:59 AM PDT by BIRDS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
British cows are thought to have developed the prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by eating ground-up brains, spleens and similar material.

To my knowledge, this has never actually been proven to causality, just coincidence.

12 posted on 10/18/2005 4:19:50 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Don't eat yellow snow.


13 posted on 10/18/2005 4:44:34 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mtbopfuyn

There had to be a reason like this why Chronic Wasting Desease (CWD) spreads so easily in deer, elk and moose populations.

Any farm that has seen an infection can never have deer or elk reintroduced since the desease seems to stay in the soil for years. In the wild, once the desease in introduced in an area, it just seems to continue spreading.

Deer and elk are more apt to smell each other's urine as part of their natural habits so if the prions are in found in urine, it seems this is the path that spreads the infection.

We have not seen infection rates like there is in CWD (the deer and elk version of the desease) in other prion deseases like mad cow, scrapie and CJD in humans so this research is probably more relevant for CWD only.


14 posted on 10/18/2005 5:00:26 AM PDT by JustDoItAlways
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: DB

The idea that prions could possibly be found in the muscles of bovines is exceedingly frightening.


15 posted on 10/18/2005 6:40:08 AM PDT by trouthunter2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Stilwell

Interesting ping


16 posted on 10/18/2005 6:48:36 AM PDT by reformedliberal (Bless our troops and pray for our nation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: trouthunter2

"The idea that prions could possibly be found in the muscles of bovines is exceedingly frightening."

Yes it is.

I'm a heavy meat eater.

Makes one wonder...

I don't fully understand why this problem hasn't been totally eliminated by now. The consequences are too serious not to.


17 posted on 10/18/2005 6:52:28 AM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: sam_paine

There was an article posted here sometime back saying that back when all this began in Britain, that Britain was buying "protein mass" in bulk from India. And that it contained human remains...

Very sick.


18 posted on 10/18/2005 6:55:48 AM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: trouthunter2

Yes it is. Now go out and enjoy those steaks and burgers, if you can.


19 posted on 10/18/2005 7:03:21 AM PDT by sarasota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: DB

I would step away from some of that meat, if I were you.


20 posted on 10/18/2005 7:04:27 AM PDT by sarasota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

They say there are little aliens infesting people... I don't think they're called "prions", though that actually might be the term, but it's something like that. So the first thing they do with a new convert is charge them a ton of money to go through all of these cleansing rituals to rid their bodies of all of these "prions" or whatever, these little aliens, so they'll be clean and free.


21 posted on 10/18/2005 7:17:30 AM PDT by ichabod1 (No Retreat! Trap The Rats or Face The Base -- Your Choice, Congress)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DB
The nature of prions themselves is what makes their control/elimination/eradication so problematic.

Two interesting points of view at:
www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/madcow/prions.html
22 posted on 10/18/2005 7:40:00 AM PDT by trouthunter2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: JustDoItAlways
"Any farm that has seen an infection can never have deer or elk reintroduced since the disease seems to stay in the soil for years. In the wild, once the disease in introduced in an area, it just seems to continue spreading. "

IMO not a microbiologist, but perhaps controlled burns of habitat would help?
23 posted on 10/18/2005 7:40:12 AM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission

The problem with a prion is that it is almost imposable to destroy. The prion is a protein with no nucleus and it can not be destroyed even in an autoclave, it's like trying to destroy an atom of oxygen.


24 posted on 10/18/2005 7:55:14 AM PDT by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE BLUE PIMPLE IN A SEA OF RED!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Total Package
So they just accumulate in the environment with no way to break them down? No enzymes or bio remediation? (That is, to break them down without destroying other susceptable and desirable biological material? Like people, Elks, and Deer?)
25 posted on 10/18/2005 8:15:04 AM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Total Package
The prion is a protein with no nucleus and it can not be destroyed even in an autoclave, it's like trying to destroy an atom of oxygen.

pardon my french, but WTF?

26 posted on 10/18/2005 9:12:45 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: grey_whiskers
"Prions lack any nucleic acid'. page 398 Bauman. MICROBIOLOGY Robert W. Bauman
27 posted on 10/18/2005 9:44:13 AM PDT by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE BLUE PIMPLE IN A SEA OF RED!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
I do not know the answer to their break down I have not had any biochem. Prions are still new to research 1982 there is not a lot known yet.
28 posted on 10/18/2005 9:50:07 AM PDT by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE BLUE PIMPLE IN A SEA OF RED!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Prions, found in the brains of animals with brain wasting diseases, could be spread through urine.

If this porves to be true for mad cow and humans, then there is real risk of this disease running rampant in the homosexual community, beginning in Europe.

29 posted on 10/18/2005 11:02:45 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ElkGroveDan
If this porves to be true for mad cow and humans, then there is real risk of this disease running rampant in the homosexual community, beginning in Europe.

???

30 posted on 10/18/2005 12:04:54 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
???

If it must be spelled out, .... because they have a habit of recreating in each other's urine,

31 posted on 10/18/2005 12:08:31 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Total Package
No nucleus as in a cell, I understand.
No nucleus as in physics, I understand.
But prions = "type of protein", so I don't get "prions without a nucleus".
"Prions lack any nucleic acid'. page 398 Bauman. MICROBIOLOGY Robert W. Bauman

Ah, now I see.

Prions have no nucleic acids--but, Nucleic acid is NOT synonymous with Nucleus...

Cheers!

32 posted on 10/18/2005 3:15:38 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Tetracyclines affect prion infectivity

Spiroplasma as a candidate agent for the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

Just enter Bastian FO into PubMed.

33 posted on 10/18/2005 4:52:18 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Info at "Tetracyclines affect.." indicates:

"Hamsters injected with tetracycline-treated inoculum showed a significant delay in the onset of clinical signs of disease and prolonged survival time. These effects were paralleled by a delay in the appearance of magnetic-resonance abnormalities in the thalamus, neuropathological changes, and PrPSc accumulation. When tetracycline was preincubated with highly diluted scrapie-infected inoculum, one third of hamsters did not develop disease."

Better than treatment with spit, I guess. I wonder if bourbon works any better. Someone needs to alert the University of Kentucky that a little research is needed here...


34 posted on 10/18/2005 5:04:51 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; DB; Bon mots; bruoz; xJones; BIRDS; sam_paine; mtbopfuyn; ...

Just enter Bastian FO into the PubMed link in comment 33. He's been studying Spiroplasma since 1979. Spiroplasma is one of the weird bacteria that lack cell walls, e.g. mycoplasma, although they have cell membranes. I think F.O. Bastian might wind up getting a Nobel Prize, like the guys this year who proved that Helicobacter Pylori cause gastro-intestinal ulcers, if he can infect those critters with Spiroplasma mirum and cause scrapie, chronic wasting and mad cow disease.


35 posted on 10/18/2005 6:09:40 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
The incubation with tetracycline hydrochloride or doxycycline hyclate at concentrations ranging from 10 ìM(It didn't copy the Greek letter that looks like a small 'u', is pronounced like 'mue' and means 10-6) to 1 mM resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in protease resistance of PrPSc.

The highly diluted antibiotic solution had one percent the 1 mM, i.e. one millimolar concentration.

When tetracycline was preincubated with highly diluted scrapie-infected inoculum, one third of hamsters did not develop disease.

That's not too shabby.

36 posted on 10/18/2005 6:40:42 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; All

correction

The highly diluted antibiotic solution had one percent of the 1 mM, i.e. one millimolar concentration.


37 posted on 10/18/2005 7:00:46 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Actually, that is encouraging to learn that there is something that can be used against it!

I have/had asthma, and read that Mt. Sinai Hospital had done research linking mycoplasma pneumonae to asthma--the antibody appeared regularly in asthma sufferers. I kept asking my GP if there could be a connection. He discounted this. At some point I had to take an anti fungal medication, and have not had asthma symptoms for some time. Can't say I had it for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if I did...

Thanks!
38 posted on 10/18/2005 7:49:11 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
Did you ever hear of the fungus called Aspergillus, or the condition called bronchopulmonary aspergillosis? Aspergillus and asthma--any link? Here's the NIH site for patients, MedlinePlus.
39 posted on 10/18/2005 8:49:18 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Total Package

"The prion is a protein with no nucleus and it can not be destroyed even in an autoclave, it's like trying to destroy an atom of oxygen."

Think about that... maybe not a good example. :)


40 posted on 10/21/2005 6:32:33 AM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Fasciitis

prion ping!


41 posted on 10/21/2005 6:33:49 AM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grey_whiskers; adam_az
Prions are a simple protein a few amino acids put together. Obviously they are more then just a single atom, however they are all most imposable to destroy.

Prions do not have a nucleus, DNA, or RNA think of them as a single strand of DNA without the nucleic acid (DNA deoxyribonucleic acid)(RNA ribonucleic acid).

PRIONS

Width 5nm

Length 5nm

Nucleic acid None

Protein Present

Cellular Absent

Cytoplasmic membrane Absent

Ribosomes Absent

Growth Absent

Yes, transform PrP protein already present in cell

Responsiveness Absent

Metabolism Absent

42 posted on 10/22/2005 6:14:02 AM PDT by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE BLUE PIMPLE IN A SEA OF RED!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Thanks! Can cause Asthma.

What fun...Aspergillosis! Fungus clumps growing in your lung, ear, or sinuses. It can result in lung damage and death as well as the general misery that proceeds from playing host to this parasite.

One of the listed ingredients of Beano is Aspergillus Niger. Presumably it is no longer alive as a result of being processed into the product.

Fun!
43 posted on 10/22/2005 8:05:21 AM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission ("The secret of a full life is to replace one worry with another...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson