ANTC68H3 Chapter Notes -Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy, Chronic Wasting Disease, Fatal Familial Insomnia

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTC68H3
Professor
ANTC68 Week 10 - Lidenbaum 2001
o Past epidemics have left beneficial imprint on social institutions
- cholera public health approach stressing quarantine
o First response to epidemic (miasma, contagion) is FLIGHT, diseases carriers =
SCAPEGOATS + STIGMATIZED
o Epidemics have elicited religious and ritual responses that promised effective action,
social upheavals, war, famine, migration, and sometimes pilgrimage
o AIDS (1988) forefront of epidemic discussion, until BSE and vCJD were seen
o FOCUS of paper: Kuru in Papa New Guinea and bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE), BSE which is associated with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD here it is
discussed as BSE/vCJD as a single related epidemic)
Kuru, BSE (and vCJD)
o FIRST BSE case (Britain 1986)
o BSE new neurological disease in cattle
o BSE brain pathology similar to “scrapie” fatal neurological sheep endemic disease
o Scrapie has similar clinical and pathological features of Kuru (fatal neurological
disorder of humans in Papa New Guinea)
o Kuru and Scrapie both transmissible by inoculation
o Kuru hereditary disorder determined by a single autosomal gene, dominant in
FEMALES but recessive in males
o No evidence that Kuru had selective survival advantage, even though it killed off such a
high fatal incidence
o Chimpanzees injected with brain material from deceased kuru patients had developed a
clinical syndrome akin to kuru
o Kuru (similar to scrapie) seemed like a viral disease of extraordinarily long incubation
transmitted by cannibalism
o The 3 diseases Kuru, BSE, and vCJD were suggested by Prusiner (1982) that their
infectivity could be due to prion protein
o Prion protein causes degenerative disorders in humans and animals because prion has
altered conformation of a normal cellular protein
- it is different from virus or viroids
- prions are small protenacious infectious particles that resist inactivation by procedures
that modify nucleic acids
- UNIQUE because inherited disorders and yet often transmissible experimentally to
laboratory animals & can cause sporadic disease in which neither inheritance nor
transmission between individuals is evident
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o MECHANISM : Prion diseases slowly attack brain tissue, leaving microscopic
spongelike holes characterized by accumulations of abnormal forms of prion protein
(which naturally occur in brain) & infectious prion accumulates without any clinical signs
o PRION DISEASES:
- Scrapie (in sheep & goats)
- BSE bovine spongiform encephalopathy cattle, mink, death of domestic cats and
exotic cats in zoos (lions)
- CWD chronic wasting disease mule deer, elk
- Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS)
- Fatal familial insomnia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
- Kuru humans
o SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES of BSE result of unforeseen dangers with industrialized
farming because current theory is that BSE originated from cows with a genetic mutation,
& government evaluation/monitoring of beef industry
- possible problems in farming practices cow feed was made of manure that was
deprived of copper and doses with manganese (causing prions in brain to be distorted)
o Study of Kuru, BSE, vCJD intersection of genetics, cell biology, and virology and
includes human sciences/social circumstances in epidemic study
Kuru and Human Affairs
o Kuru epidemic follows this plot line (like any other epidemic) for PEOPLE LIVING IN
FORE REGION
ACT 1 PROGRESSIVE REVELATION
- began in Fore (late 1920s, early 1930s) with emergence of puzzling cases
- thought to be a benign shaking disorder ―sowary disease‖, ―negi nagi‖ silly or foolish
behavior
ACT 2 AGREEMENT BY DIFFERENT ACTORS ON EXPLANATORY
FRAMEWORK
- after seeing many victims die uniformly, it was concluded that living sorcerers were to
blame and was assigned etiology
- called ―kuru‖ – denoting shaking or fear (victim\s tremors)
ACT 3 SENSE OF CRISIS = INIDVIDUAL/COLLECTIVE
POLITICAL/RITUAL ACTION
- late 1950s and 1960s when epidemic reached its height and the Fore began to speak of a
social and moral crisis
- sexual bias of kuru mortality = 3:1 (male:female), many men wifeless and no mothers;
now large scale investigations being made and ceremonies, society greatly believed it
was in danger
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Document Summary

Antc68 week 10 - lidenbaum 2001: past epidemics have left beneficial imprint on social institutions. Cholera public health approach stressing quarantine: first response to epidemic (miasma, contagion) is flight, diseases carriers = It is different from virus or viroids. Prions are small protenacious infectious particles that resist inactivation by procedures that modify nucleic acids. Bse bovine spongiform encephalopathy cattle, mink, death of domestic cats and exotic cats in zoos (lions) Cwd chronic wasting disease mule deer, elk. Kuru humans: social circumstances of bse result of unforeseen dangers with industrialized farming because current theory is that bse originated from cows with a genetic mutation, Kuru and human affairs: kuru epidemic follows this plot line (like any other epidemic) for people living in. Began in fore (late 1920s, early 1930s) with emergence of puzzling cases. Thought to be a benign shaking disorder sowary disease , negi nagi silly or foolish behavior. Act 2 agreement by different actors on explanatory.

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