The Enigma of Slow Viruses

Facts and Artefacts

  • Pawel P. Liberski

Part of the Archives of Virology book series (ARCHIVES SUPPL, volume 6)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Pawel P. Liberski
    Pages 7-82
  3. Pawel P. Liberski
    Pages 83-109
  4. Pawel P. Liberski
    Pages 111-194
  5. Pawel P. Liberski
    Pages 195-199
  6. Pawel P. Liberski
    Pages 201-203
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 205-280

About this book


Scrapie, a naturally occurring neurodegenerative disease of sheep and sometimes goats, is a prototypic disease for the whole group of the subacute spongiform virus encephalopathies. Kuru was the first human disease of this type to be discovered in 1957 by Gajdusek and Zigas, and its discovery opened the whole field in the human biomedical sciences by the very realization of the fact that viruses may induce disease months or even decades after infections, and that these slow virus diseases are more compatible with classical degenerations of the nervous system than with inflammatory disorders of the brain. More than a quarter of a century since discovery of Kuru, and more than half a century following the first transmission of scrapie, the very nature of the infectious virus remains unknown. This comprehensive review covers all aspects of slow unconventional virus infections known today. It includes numerous historical data, biochemistry and molecular biology of the prion protein and its gene, the role of genetics and mutations within PrP gene, spreading and targeting of the virus, biochemistry and neurochemistry of the alterations of different neurotransmitter system and neuropathology. More than 1000 references are listed and critically analyzed; the reader can find references to all experiments and laboratory findings which has ever been done in this field. Furthermore, the book offers different view on the basic problems as for example, the nature of the scrapie agent.


Nervous System biochemistry brain diseases gene genetics immunology infection infections molecular biology neurochemistry neuropathology pathogenesis pathology virus

Authors and affiliations

  • Pawel P. Liberski
    • 1
  1. 1.Electron Microscopic Laboratory, Department of OncologyMedical Academy LodzŁodzPoland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Vienna 1993
  • Publisher Name Springer, Vienna
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-211-82427-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-7091-9270-2
  • Series Print ISSN 0939-1983
  • Buy this book on publisher's site