All French public laboratories have decided to suspend for three months their work on the prions that cause the Kretsfeldt-Jacob disease affecting the former laboratory worker. The decision was taken jointly by ANSES, CEA, CNRS, INRAE and Inserm in collaboration with the Ministry of Research in the name of precautionary principles.
A new case of a man with Kreutzfeldt-Jacob disease
She was inspired by “the knowledge of a new case of a man suffering from Cretzfeldt-Jacob’s disease (CJD) and working in a laboratory for research on prion”. Uncertainty in this case depends on the source of the disease.
CJD – one of the prion diseases commonly referred to as “mad cow disease” – is rare and is characterized by rapid and malignant degeneration of the central nervous system. It can be of sporadic origin (occurring randomly), the most frequent form, genetic origin or eventually contaminated after infection.
The person with CJD is a retired agent from INRAE (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment).
The period of cessation of laboratory work should establish a link between his disease and his previous activities and, if necessary, adopt preventive measures in force in the laboratory.
Assistant Engineer who died in 2019 after being tampered with in 2010
If this link is true, this is a second risk for those working in Prion. An assistant engineer who was injured in 2010 during an experiment died of the disease in 2019.
In 2020, a study New England Journal of Medicine, Based on her case, found the potential cause between this incident and her illness.
An inspection mission commissioned by the Ministries of Research and Agriculture in October 2020 concluded that the laboratories were subject to regulatory responsibilities and had a “risk control culture”.