Kuru, the First Human Prion Disease.

Authors:
Agata Gajos
Agata Gajos
medical University of Lodz
Poland
Beata Sikorska
Beata Sikorska
Medical University of Lodz
Łódź | Poland
Shirley Lindenbaum
Shirley Lindenbaum
City University of New York
United States

Viruses 2019 Mar 7;11(3). Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Kuru, the first human prion disease was transmitted to chimpanzees by D. Carleton Gajdusek (1923⁻2008). In this review, we summarize the history of this seminal discovery, its anthropological background, epidemiology, clinical picture, neuropathology, and molecular genetics. We provide descriptions of electron microscopy and confocal microscopy of kuru amyloid plaques retrieved from a paraffin-embedded block of an old kuru case, named Kupenota. The discovery of kuru opened new vistas of human medicine and was pivotal in the subsequent transmission of Creutzfeldt⁻Jakob disease, as well as the relevance that bovine spongiform encephalopathy had for transmission to humans. The transmission of kuru was one of the greatest contributions to biomedical sciences of the 20th century.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11030232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466359PMC
March 2019
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Prion disease: From ritualistic endocannibalism to cellular endocannibalism—From Kuru to Autophagy
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