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NeuroPrion


Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

Prevention, control and management of prion diseases

EC contribution
: € 14 400 000
Duration
: 64 months
Starting date
: September 1, 2003
Instrument
: IP
Project Number
: FOOD-CT-2004-506579
Web-site
: http://www.neuroprion.com

Summary:

NeuroPrion - Science at the Service of Society

NeuroPrion is the European Network of Excellence (NoE) dedicated to research on prion diseases. It involves 52 public research organisations in 20 different countries and federates over 120 individual research groups, corresponding to more than 90% of the leading researchers in Europe. The combined know-how and the synergies between the main European research teams constitute a unique core of expertise strengthening the role of science in our society to prevent future prion crises. NeuroPrion constitutes a first approach towards a new European Research Area (ERA) open to collaboration with prion researchers from all over the world to protect human and animal health against prions and related diseases.

Problem:

Since the appearance of the first cases of 'mad cow disease' in the 1980s, prion diseases have become a major problem for society, both in Europe and worldwide, with important health and economic consequences. The recent discovery of atypical cases of scrapie in sheep and atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle in Europe and the US has raised concerns that previously unidentified strains of prions may pose new risks for public health. Furthermore, the compelling evidence that prion diseases are transmissible through blood transfusion, serves as a reminder that crucial information on prion diseases to ensure the safety of public health is still missing.

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