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BSE Vaccine?

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Vaccine may prevent mad cow disease
NEW YORK, May 13 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists said studies in mice indicate a vaccine they developed may stave off mad cow disease and similar disorders.

Approximately 30 percent of mice that received the vaccine remained alive for 500 days after exposure to a mad cow-like disease, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine reported in the journal Neuroscience. In contrast, all of the mice that were not vaccinated were dead by 300 days after exposure to the disease.

This category of diseases includes mad cow, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk and Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in people. All are incurable and fatal. Scientists think they are caused by an abnormal protein called a prion.

The vaccine, which consists of scrapie prions attached to a genetically modified strain of Salmonella bacteria, would probably first be used to protect livestock, such as deer and cattle, the researchers said.

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