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Original Articles
Effect of Paxlovid in COVID-19 treatment during the periods of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 and BN.1 subvariant dominance in the Republic of Korea: a retrospective cohort study
Dong-Hwi Kim, Min-Gyu Yoo, Na-Young Kim, So Young Choi, Minjeong Jang, Misuk An, Se-Jin Jeong, Jungyeon Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):137-149.   Published online March 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0230
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  • 42 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study was conducted to assess the efficacy of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir treatment in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), particularly those aged 60 years and older. Using real-world data, the period during which the BN.1 Omicron variant was dominant was compared to the period dominated by the BA.5 variant. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data were collected regarding 2,665,281 patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 between July 24, 2022, and March 31, 2023. Propensity score matching was utilized to match patients who received nirmatrelvir/ ritonavir in a 1:4 ratio between BN.1 and BA.5 variant groups. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to assess the effects of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir within these groups. Results: Compared to the prior period, the efficacy of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir did not significantly differ during the interval of Omicron BN.1 variant dominance in the Republic of Korea. Among patients treated with nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, a significantly lower risk of mortality was observed in the BN.1 group (odds ratio [OR], 0.698; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.557–0.875) compared to the BA.5 group. However, this treatment did not significantly reduce the risk of severe or critical illness, including death, for those in the BN.1 group (OR, 0.856; 95% CI, 0.728–1.007). Conclusion: Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir has maintained its effectiveness against COVID-19, even with the emergence of the BN.1 Omicron subvariant. Consequently, we strongly recommend the administration of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir to patients exhibiting COVID-19-related symptoms, irrespective of the dominant Omicron variant or their vaccination status, to mitigate disease severity and decrease the risk of mortality.
Household secondary attack rates and risk factors during periods of SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variant predominance in the Republic of Korea
Jin Lee, Mijeong Ko, Seontae Kim, Dosang Lim, Gemma Park, Sang-Eun Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(4):263-271.   Published online August 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0133
  • 2,156 View
  • 137 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The household secondary attack rate (SAR) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an important indicator for community transmission. This study aimed to characterize transmission by comparing household SARs and identifying risk factors during the periods of Delta and Omicron variant predominance in Republic of Korea.
Methods
We defined the period of Delta variant predominance (Delta period) as July 25, 2021 to January 15, 2022, and the period of Omicron variant predominance (Omicron period) as February 7 to September 3, 2022. The number of index cases included was 214,229 for the Delta period and 5,521,393 for the Omicron period. To identify the household SARs and risk factors for each period, logistic regression was performed to determine the adjusted odds ratio (aOR).
Results
The SAR was 35.2% for the Delta period and 43.1% for the Omicron period. The aOR of infection was higher in 2 groups, those aged 0 to 18 years and ≥75 years, compared to those aged 19 to 49 years. Unvaccinated individuals (vs. vaccinated individuals) and individuals experiencing initial infection (vs. individuals experiencing a second or third infection) had an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2.
Conclusion
This study analyzed the household SARs and risk factors. We hope that the results can help develop age-specific immunization plans and responses to reduce the SAR in preparation for emerging infectious diseases or potential new variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Increased viral load in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Omicron variant in the Republic of Korea
Jeong-Min Kim, Dongju Kim, Nam-Joo Lee, Sang Hee Woo, Jaehee Lee, Hyeokjin Lee, Ae Kyung Park, Jeong-Ah Kim, Chae Young Lee, Il-Hwan Kim, Cheon Kwon Yoo, Eun-Jin Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(4):272-278.   Published online July 27, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0024
  • 1,544 View
  • 111 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic owing to the rapid spread of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Its Delta and Omicron variants are more transmissible and pathogenic than other variants. Some debates have emerged on the mechanism of variants of concern. In the COVID-19 wave that began in December 2021, the Omicron variant, first reported in South Africa, became identifiable in most cases globally. The aim of this study was to provide data to inform effective responses to the transmission of the Omicron variant.
Methods
The Delta variant and the spike protein D614G mutant were compared with the Omicron variant. Viral loads from 5 days after symptom onset were compared using epidemiological data collected at the time of diagnosis.
Results
The Omicron variant exhibited a higher viral load than other variants, resulting in greater transmissibility within 5 days of symptom onset.
Conclusion
Future research should focus on vaccine efficacy against the Omicron variant and compare trends in disease severity associated with its high viral load.
Results of contact tracing for SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sub-lineages (BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.75) and the household secondary attack risk
Mi Yu, Sang-Eun Lee, Hye Young Lee, Hye-jin Kim, Yeong-Jun Song, Jian Jeong, Ae Kyung Park, Il-Hwan Kim, Eun-jin Kim, Young-Joon Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(3):173-179.   Published online June 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0285
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to assess the contact tracing outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sub-lineages BA.4, BA.5, and BA.2.75 within Republic of Korea, and to generate foundational data for responding to future novel variants.
Methods
We conducted investigations and contact tracing for 79 confirmed BA.4 cases, 396 confirmed BA.5 cases, and 152 confirmed BA.2.75 cases. These cases were identified through random sampling of both domestically confirmed and imported cases, with the goal of evaluating the pattern of occurrence and transmissibility.
Results
We detected 79 instances of Omicron sub-lineage BA.4 across a span of 46 days, 396 instances of Omicron sub-lineage BA.5 in 46 days, and 152 instances of Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.75 over 62 days. One patient with severe illness was confirmed among the BA.5 cases; however, there were no reports of severe illness in the confirmed BA.4 and BA.2.75 cases. The secondary attack risk among household contacts were 19.6% for BA.4, 27.8% for BA.5, and 24.3% for BA.2.75. No statistically significant difference was found between the Omicron sub-lineages.
Conclusion
BA.2.75 did not demonstrate a higher tendency for transmissibility, disease severity, or secondary attack risk within households when compared to BA.4 and BA.5. We will continue to monitor major SARS-CoV-2 variants, and we plan to enhance the disease control and response systems.
Brief Report
The effectiveness of Paxlovid treatment in long-term care facilities in South Korea during the outbreak of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2
Hanul Park, Young Joon Park, Hye Young Lee, Mi Yu, Yeong-Jun Song, Sang Eun Lee, Ji-Joo Lee, Eun-Sol Lee, Yeonjung Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(6):443-447.   Published online December 23, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0262
  • 4,037 View
  • 220 Download
  • 7 Web of Science
  • 10 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
On November 5, 2021, Pfizer Inc. announced Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir +ritonavir) asa treatment method that could reduce the risk of hospitalization or death for patients withconfirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).Methods: From February 6, 2022 to April 2, 2022, the incidence of COVID-19 and the effectsof treatment with Paxlovid were analyzed in 2,241 patients and workers at 5 long-term carefacilities during the outbreak of the Omicron variant of severe acute respiratory syndromecoronavirus 2 in South Korea.Results: The rate of severe illness or death in the group given Paxlovid was 51% lower thanthat of the non-Paxlovid group (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI],0.24−0.98). Compared to unvaccinated patients, patients who had completed 3 doses of thevaccine had a 71% reduced rate of severe illness or death (aRR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.13−0.64) and a65% reduced death rate (aRR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.15−0.79).Conclusion: Patients given Paxlovid showed a lower rate of severe illness or death and alower fatality rate than those who did not receive Paxlovid. Patients who received 3 dosesof the vaccine had a lower rate of severe illness or death and a lower fatality rate than theunvaccinated group.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Efficacy and safety of antiviral treatments for symptomatic COVID-19 outpatients: Systematic review and network meta-analysis
    Meital Zur, Thalia Peselev, Stav Yanko, Victoria Rotshild, Ilan Matok
    Antiviral Research.2024; 221: 105768.     CrossRef
  • Clinical Effectiveness of Ritonavir-Boosted Nirmatrelvir—A Literature Review
    Sydney Paltra, Tim O. F. Conrad
    Advances in Respiratory Medicine.2024; 92(1): 66.     CrossRef
  • Effectiveness of nirmatrelvir‐ritonavir on severe outcomes of COVID‐19 in the era of vaccination and Omicron: An updated meta‐analysis
    Sien Ombelet, Diego Castanares‐Zapatero, Fabian Desimpel, Frank Hulstaert, Sabine Stordeur, Dominique Roberfroid
    Journal of Medical Virology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Epidemiological evolution and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the European Union and worldwide and effects of control strategies on them: An ecological study
    J.A. Caylà, J.M. Bellmunt, J.M. Jansà, A. Marco, J.P. Millet
    Medicina de Familia. SEMERGEN.2024; 50(6): 102274.     CrossRef
  • COVID‐19 infection in patients with haematological malignancies: A single‐centre survey in the latest Omicron wave in China
    Xiaolu Zhu, Qian Jiang, Jin Lu, Yuqian Sun, Xiaosu Zhao, Shenmiao Yang, Feifei Tang, Wenjing Yu, Ting Zhao, Xiaohong Liu, Jinsong Jia, Wenbing Duan, Lijuan Hu, Jing Wang, Yang Liu, Nan Peng, Xuelin Dou, Rui Ma, Qiang Fu, Huifang Wang, Kaiyan Liu, Xiaojun
    British Journal of Haematology.2023; 202(1): 31.     CrossRef
  • The association mental health of adolescents with economic impact during the COVID-19 pandemic: a 2020 Korean nationally representative survey
    Hanul Park, Kang-Sook Lee
    BMC Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Efficacy and safety of paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) in the treatment of COVID‐19: An updated meta‐analysis and trial sequential analysis
    Haokun Tian, Changsen Yang, Tiangang Song, Kechen Zhou, Lequan Wen, Ye Tian, Lirui Tang, Weikai Xu, Xinyuan Zhang
    Reviews in Medical Virology.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Real-World Effectiveness of Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir and Its Acceptability in High-Risk COVID-19 Patients
    Min-Kyung Kim, Kyung-Shin Lee, Sin Young Ham, Youn Young Choi, Eunyoung Lee, Seungjae Lee, Bora Lee, Jaehyun Jeon, BumSik Chin, Yeonjae Kim, Gayeon Kim, Hee-Chang Jang, Jae-Phil Choi, Sang-Won Park
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Effectiveness of Molnupiravir Treatment in Patients with COVID-19 in Korea: A Propensity Score Matched Study
    Hye Rim Park, Min-Gyu Yoo, Jong Mu Kim, Soon Jong Bae, Hyungmin Lee, Jungyeon Kim
    Infection & Chemotherapy.2023; 55(4): 490.     CrossRef
  • Nirmatrelvir combined with ritonavir for preventing and treating COVID-19
    Stefanie Reis, Maria-Inti Metzendorf, Rebecca Kuehn, Maria Popp, Ildiko Gagyor, Peter Kranke, Patrick Meybohm, Nicole Skoetz, Stephanie Weibel
    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Original Articles
mRNA vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant transmission from home care cases to household contacts in South Korea
Hanul Park, Young Joon Park, Sang Eun Lee, Min Jei Lee, Hyungtae Ahn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(6):435-442.   Published online November 28, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0243
  • 4,945 View
  • 174 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Household contacts of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) areexposed to a high risk of viral transmission, and secondary incidence is an important indicatorof community transmission. This study analyzed the secondary attack rate and mRNA vaccineeffectiveness against transmission (VET) for index cases (patients treated at home) confirmedto be infected with the Delta and Omicron variants.Methods: The subjects of the study were 4,450 index cases and 10,382 household contacts.Logistic regression analysis was performed to compare the secondary attack rate byvaccination status, and adjusted relative risk and 95% confidence intervals were identified.Results: The secondary attack rate of the Delta variant was 27.3%, while the secondary attackrate of the Omicron variant was 29.8%. For the Delta variant, groups with less than 90 daysand more than 90 days after 2 doses of mRNA vaccination both showed a VET of 37%. For theOmicron variant, a 64% VET was found among those with less than 90 days after 2 doses ofmRNA vaccination.Conclusion: This study provides useful data on the secondary attack rate and VET of mRNAvaccines for household contacts of COVID-19 cases in South Korea.

Citations

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  • Household secondary attack rates and risk factors during periods of SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variant predominance in the Republic of Korea
    Jin Lee, Mijeong Ko, Seontae Kim, Dosang Lim, Gemma Park, Sang-Eun Lee
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2023; 14(4): 263.     CrossRef
Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 lineages and mutations circulating in a university-affiliated hospital in South Korea analyzed using Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing
Hyaekang Kim, Sung Hee Chung, Hyun Soo Kim, Han-Sung Kim, Wonkeun Song, Ki Ho Hong, Jae-Seok Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(5):360-369.   Published online October 11, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0183
  • 3,332 View
  • 78 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
Despite the introduction of vaccines, treatments, and massive diagnostic testing, the evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has continued to overcome barriers that had slowed its previous spread. As the virus evolves towards increasing fitness, it is critical to continue monitoring the occurrence of new mutations that could evade human efforts to control them. Methods: We performed whole-genome sequencing using Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing on 58 SARS-CoV-2 isolates collected during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic at a tertiary hospital in South Korea and tracked the emergence of mutations responsible for massive spikes in South Korea. Results: The differences among lineages were more pronounced in the spike gene, especially in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), than in other genes. Those RBD mutations could compromise neutralization by antibodies elicited by vaccination or previous infections. We also reported multiple incidences of Omicron variants carrying mutations that could impair the diagnostic sensitivity of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction-based testing. Conclusion: These results provide an understanding of the temporal changes of variants and mutations that have been circulating in South Korea and their potential impacts on antigenicity, therapeutics, and diagnostic escape of the virus. We also showed that the utilization of the nanopore sequencing platform and the ARTIC workf low can provide convenient and accurate SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance even at a single hospital.

Citations

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  • Understanding large scale sequencing datasets through changes to protein folding
    David Shorthouse, Harris Lister, Gemma S Freeman, Benjamin A Hall
    Briefings in Functional Genomics.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
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    Munkhtuya Erendereg, Suvd Tumurbaatar, Otgonjargal Byambaa, Gerelmaa Enebish, Natsagdorj Burged, Tungalag Khurelsukh, Nomin‐Erdene Baatar, Badmaarag Munkhjin, Jargaltulga Ulziijargal, Anuujin Gantumur, Oyunbaatar Altanbayar, Ochbadrakh Batjargal, Delgermu
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Review Article
Review of the early reports of the epidemiological characteristics of the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 and its spread worldwide
Yeonju Kim, Eun-Jin Kim, Sang-Won Lee, Donghyok Kwon
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):139-148.   Published online June 24, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0037
  • 6,703 View
  • 155 Download
  • 8 Web of Science
  • 9 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
The variant B.1.1.7 of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the RNA virus causing the pandemic more than a year worldwide, was reported from United Kingdom (UK) in late December 2020. It was reported that mortality increases by 65% and transmissibility increases by 70%, which may result in an increase of reproduction number to 1.13−1.55 from 0.75−0.85. To analyze the global increasing trend of the variant B.1.1.7, we extracted results of B.1.1.7 from GISAID on May 11 and May 12, 2021, and conducted a doseresponse regression. It took 47 days to reach 20% and 121 days to reach 50% among the sequence submitted from UK. In Korea, cases of B.1.1.7 have increased since the first report of three cases on December 28, 2020. Positive rate of B.1.1.7 in Korea was 21.6% in the week from May 9 to May 15, 2021. Detection rate of the variants is expected to increase further and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 are emerging, so a close monitoring and control would be maintained for months.

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    José R. Mediavilla, Tara Lozy, Annie Lee, Justine Kim, Veronica W. Kan, Elizabeth Titova, Ashish Amin, Michael C. Zody, André Corvelo, Dayna M. Oschwald, Amy Baldwin, Samantha Fennessey, Jerry M. Zuckerman, Thomas Kirn, Liang Chen, Yanan Zhao, Kar Fai Cho
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Brief Reports
Occurrence of Norovirus GII.4 Sydney Variant-related Outbreaks in Korea
Sunyoung Jung, Bo-Mi Hwang, Hyun Ju Jeong, Gyung Tae Chung, Cheon-Kwon Yoo, Yeon-Ho Kang, Deog-Yong Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):322-326.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.004
  • 3,018 View
  • 18 Download
  • 8 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Human noroviruses are major causative agents of food and waterborne outbreaks of nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis. In this study, we report the epidemiological features of three outbreak cases of norovirus in Korea, and we describe the clinical symptoms and distribution of the causative genotypes. The incidence rates of the three outbreaks were 16.24% (326/2,007), 4.1% (27/656), and 16.8% (36/214), respectively. The patients in these three outbreaks were affected by acute gastroenteritis. These schools were provided unheated food from the same manufacturing company. Two genotypes (GII.3 and GII.4) of the norovirus were detected in these cases. Among them, major causative strains of GII.4 (Hu-jeju-47-2007KR-like) were identified in patients, food handlers, and groundwater from the manufacturing company of the unheated food. In the GII.4 (Hu-jeju-47-2007KR-like) strain of the norovirus, the nucleotide sequences were identical and identified as the GII.4 Sydney variant. Our data suggests that the combined epidemiological and laboratory results were closely related, and the causative pathogen was the GII.4 Sydney variant strain from contaminated groundwater.

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Epidemics of Norovirus GII.4 Variant in Outbreak Cases in Korea, 2004–2012
Sunyoung Jung, Hyun Ju Jeong, Bo-Mi Hwang, Cheon-Kwon Yoo, Gyung Tae Chung, Hyesook Jeong, Yeon-Ho Kang, Deog-Yong Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):318-321.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.002
  • 3,133 View
  • 21 Download
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Norovirus GII.4 is recognized as a worldwide cause of nonbacterial outbreaks. In particular, the GII.4 variant occurs every 2–3 years according to antigenic variation. The aim of our study was to identify GII.4 variants in outbreaks in Korea during 2004–2012. Partial VP1 sequence of norovirus GII.4-related outbreaks during 2004–2012 was analyzed. The partial VP1 sequence was detected with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, seminested polymerase chain reaction, and nucleotide sequence of 312-314 base pairs for phylogenetic comparison. Nine variants emerged in outbreaks, with the Sydney variant showing predominance recently. This predominance may persist for at least 3 years, although new variants may appear in Korea.

Citations

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  • Trends for Syndromic Surveillance of Norovirus in Emergency Department Data Based on Chief Complaints
    Soyeoun Kim, Sohee Kim, Bo Youl Choi, Boyoung Park
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Genotypic and Epidemiological Trends of Acute Gastroenteritis Associated with Noroviruses in China from 2006 to 2016
    Shu-Wen Qin, Ta-Chien Chan, Jian Cai, Na Zhao, Zi-Ping Miao, Yi-Juan Chen, She-Lan Liu
    International Journal of Environmental Research an.2017; 14(11): 1341.     CrossRef
Review Article
Prion Diseases as Transmissible Zoonotic Diseases
Jeongmin Lee, Su Yeon Kim, Kyu Jam Hwang, Young Ran Ju, Hee-Jong Woo
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(1):57-66.   Published online February 28, 2013
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.12.008
  • 3,098 View
  • 21 Download
  • 21 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Prion diseases, also called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), lead to neurological dysfunction in animals and are fatal. Infectious prion proteins are causative agents of many mammalian TSEs, including scrapie (in sheep), chronic wasting disease (in deer and elk), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; in cattle), and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD; in humans). BSE, better known as mad cow disease, is among the many recently discovered zoonotic diseases. BSE cases were first reported in the United Kingdom in 1986. Variant CJD (vCJD) is a disease that was first detected in 1996, which affects humans and is linked to the BSE epidemic in cattle. vCJD is presumed to be caused by consumption of contaminated meat and other food products derived from affected cattle. The BSE epidemic peaked in 1992 and decreased thereafter; this decline is continuing sharply owing to intensive surveillance and screening programs in the Western world. However, there are still new outbreaks and/or progression of prion diseases, including atypical BSE, and iatrogenic CJD and vCJD via organ transplantation and blood transfusion. This paper summarizes studies on prions, particularly on prion molecular mechanisms, BSE, vCJD, and diagnostic procedures. Risk perception and communication policies of the European Union for the prevention of prion diseases are also addressed to provide recommendations for appropriate government policies in Korea.

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