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Lab Reports
March 2, 2011

Infectious Airborne Prions

JAMA. 2011;305(9):876. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.214

Airborne prions are infectious and can induce transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as mad cow disease and scrapie, report researchers in Switzerland (Haybaeck J et al. PLoS Pathog. 2011;7[1]:e1001257).

In the new work, investigators at the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, and the University of Tübingen showed that 100% of mice exposed to aerosols containing prions for a single minute succumbed to scrapie. Longer exposures strongly correlated with shortened incubation periods.

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