A method of removing prion infectivity from scrapie-infected animal blood proved effective in tests on hamsters, reports HealthCentral.com. The research may help develop a way to prevent the spread of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human form of BSE, the article says.

Researchers ID'd a molecule called L13 that selectively binds to the prion protein. They passed scrapie-infected hamster blood through devices containing the L13 molecule, and then injected the blood into 96 hamsters. None of them became infected.

The article says scientists also found L13 selectively can bind to the prion protein from human infections of vCJD, which suggests it may be able to remove prion infectivity from human blood.
-- Joe Roybal