Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The same prion strain causes vCJD and BSE


Epidemiological and clinicopathological studies, allied with pathological prion protein (PrPSc) analysis, strongly support the hypothesis that the human prion disease new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is causally related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)1,2, but considerable controversy remains. Distinct prion strains are distinguished by their biological properties on transmission to laboratory animals and by physical and chemical differences in PrPSc strains. We now find that the biological and molecular transmission characteristics of vCJD are consistent with it being the human counterpart of BSE.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Transmission of prion diseases to mice.
Figure 2: Transmission of prion diseases to mice.
Figure 3: Transmission of prion diseases to mice.


  1. 1

    Will, R. G. et al. Lancet 347, 921–925 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Collinge, J., Sidle, K. C. L., Meads, J., Ironside, J. & Hill, A. F. Nature 383, 685–690 (1996).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Collinge, J. et al. Nature 378, 779–783 (1995); addendum 389, 526 (1997).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Baker, H. F. et al. Lancet 337, 1286 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Collinge, J., Palmer, M. S. & Dryden, A. J. Lancet 337, 1441–1442 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Palmer, M. S., Dryden, A. J., Hughes, J. T. & Collinge, J. Nature 352, 340–342 (1991).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Collinge, J. et al. Lancet 346, 569–570 (1995).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Bruce, M. E. et al. JGen. Virol. 72, 595–603 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Bruce, M. E. Br. Med. Bull. 49, 822–838 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Lasmézas, C. I. et al. Science 275, 402–405 (1997).

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Lasmézas, C. I. et al. Nature 381, 743–744 (1996).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Prusiner, S. B. et al. Cell 63, 673–686 (1990).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Telling, G. C. et al.Science 274, 2079–2082 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Collinge, J. et al. Lancet 348, 56 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Piccardo, P. et al. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 56, 589 (1997).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hill, A., Desbruslais, M., Joiner, S. et al. The same prion strain causes vCJD and BSE. Nature 389, 448–450 (1997).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing