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Protecting the food chain from prions: shaping European priorities through basic and applied research

Objective

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) started, 20 years ago, a devastating health and food crisis throughout Europe. Classical BSE is now under control as a result of the meat and bone meal ban. However, tonsil analyses suggest that there may be an alarmingly high number of asymptomatic PrPSc positive cases. Transmission through blood transfusion is another important concern, as are recent “atypical cases” of BSE. Only a profound understanding of the molecular biology of prions will enable us to control them. Thus, to understand why BSE-contaminated food causes vCJD, we need to understand how prions get into food, what happens with them in the gut, how they reach the brain, and how they initiate the chain reaction rapidly leading to death. We have formulated 7 key questions: 1) How can we avoid a new BSE outbreak, or other possible future prion infection of livestock? 2) Why did decontamination of meat and bone meal fail; is there an effective way to decontaminate feedstuffs, soil etc? 3) What is the risk of humans being infected with each of the different prion strains known thus far? 4) Which are the best strategies to implement feasible prion eradication programs? 5) How can we develop a pre-clinical prion blood test? 6) How can we identify human cases with potential secondary transmission? And 7) What is the origin of atypical human CJD cases? We will search for decisive data on the structure of PrPSc, the molecular basis of strains and species barriers, the mechanism of prion conversion, the cell biology of PrPSc, the function of PrPC, and the mechanisms of PrP-associated pathology. This information will be translated into a better estimation of current exposure risk to humans from TSE, evaluation of current intervention strategies, and development of improved decontamination techniques and prion tests. With all this, we will be able to respond to the questions formulated and thus advise the EC on TSE policy for the protection of European consumers..

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/cell biology
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pathology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/molecular biology

Call for proposal

FP7-KBBE-2007-2A
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-IP - Large-scale integrating project

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Address
Colexio De San Xerome Praza Do Obradoiro S/n
15782 Santiago De Compostela
Spain
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 564 126
Administrative Contact
Martin Cacheiro Martinez (Mr.)

Participants (20)

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 438 124
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zürich
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Adriano Aguzzi (Prof.)
HEINRICH-HEINE-UNIVERSITAET DUESSELDORF
Germany
EU contribution
€ 345 874
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 1
40225 Dusseldorf
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Peter Bons (Mr.)
INSTITUT PASTEUR
France
EU contribution
€ 345 874
Address
Rue Du Docteur Roux 25-28
75724 Paris Cedex 15
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Nadia Khelef (Dr.)
STICHTING HET NEDERLANDS KANKER INSTITUUT-ANTONI VAN LEEUWENHOEK ZIEKENHUIS
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 295 248
Address
Plesmanlaan 121
1066 CX Amsterdam
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Henri G. A. M. Van Luenen (Dr.)
INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACION Y TECNOLOGIA AGRARIA Y ALIMENTARIA OA MP
Spain
EU contribution
€ 300 892
Address
Carretera De La Coruna Km7.5
28040 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
María Alarcón Alarcón (Ms.)
FRIEDRICH LOEFFLER INSTITUT - BUNDESFORSCHUNGSINSTITUT FUER TIERGESUNDHEIT
Germany
EU contribution
€ 361 248
Address
Sudufer 10
17493 Greifswald-insel Riems
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Lorena Retana Calderon (Ms.)
THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM
Israel
EU contribution
€ 254 748
Address
Edmond J Safra Campus Givat Ram
91904 Jerusalem
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jane Turner (Ms.)
KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 345 874
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Eva Tegelberg (Ms.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 330 874
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Angela Noble (Ms.)
UNIVERSITAETSMEDIZIN GOETTINGEN - GEORG-AUGUST-UNIVERSITAET GOETTINGEN - STIFTUNG OEFFENTLICHEN RECHTS
Germany
EU contribution
€ 330 874
Address
Robert-koch-strasse 40
37075 Goettingen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Christiane Hennecke (Ms.)
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 378 124
Address
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Xavier Gutierrez (Mr.)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE POUR L'AGRICULTURE, L'ALIMENTATION ET L'ENVIRONNEMENT
France
EU contribution
€ 348 498
Address
147 Rue De L'universite
75007 Paris Cedex 07
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Michèle Serthelon (Ms.)
SMP GMBH - PRUEFEN VALIDIEREN FORSCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 153 874
Address
Hechinger Strasse 262
72072 Tubingen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Klaus Roth (Mr.)
Food and Environment Research Agency
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 43 500
Address
Area 1A, Nobel House, Smith Square 17
SW1P 3JR London
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Lucinda Cranham (Ms.)
VETERINAERINSTITUTTET - NORWEGIAN VETERINARY INSTITUTE
Norway
EU contribution
€ 77 375
Address
Ullevalsveien 68
0454 Oslo
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Frode åsmund Granås (Mr.)
SLOVENSKA ZDRAVOTNICKA UNIVERZITA V BRATISLAVE
Slovakia
EU contribution
€ 239 750
Address
Limbova 12
83303 Bratislava
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Milan Cagan (Mr.)
SCUOLA INTERNAZIONALE SUPERIORE DI STUDI AVANZATI DI TRIESTE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 308 374
Address
Via Bonomea 265
34136 Trieste
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Giuliana Zotta (Ms.)
UNIVERSITEIT MAASTRICHT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 74 000
Address
Minderbroedersberg 4-6
6200 MD Maastricht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ralf Henskens (Mr.)
PRIONICS AG
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 308 374
Address
Wagistrasse 27 A
8952 Schlieren
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Alex Raeber (Dr.)
UNIVERSITAET HOHENHEIM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 153 874
Address
Schloss Hohenheim
70599 Stuttgart
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Hans-Peter Liebig (Prof.)