Dear Reader

The comprehensive work "Prions in Humans and Animals", aimed at both students and researchers alike, systematically covers all aspects of prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies), from their history, microbiology and pathology to their transmissibility and prevention. The book describes diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, mad cow disease (BSE), chronic wasting disease and scrapie, highlighting their biochemical, molecular biological, genetic, and clinical aspects. A detailed presentation of the impact of prion diseases in fields such as pharmaceutics, blood products, disinfection, surgical instruments and epidemiology concludes with a discussion of preventive measures.

A renowned editorial team, representing the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine and molecular biology, brought together 80 internationally respected authors for this translation and new edition of the successful German publication, not only from relevant research fields, but also from industry and public health institutions. The book includes chapters by, among many other notable scientists, Stanley B. Prusiner, William J. Hadlow, who discovered the relationship between the human and animal forms of prion diseases and Michael P. Alpers, with 45 years of experience in Papua New Guinea investigating the first known human epidemic form, kuru, transmitted by endocannibalism. Further contributions from Gerald A. H. Wells, a veterinary pathologist who described BSE and recognised its similarity to scrapie, thus recording the first cases in 1986 of the most important animal epidemic of modern times, and Robert G. Will, a medical neurologist and epidemiologist who discovered the emergence of the variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in 1996, underscore the strength of this author team.

Carefully edited with numerous illustrations, this work offers a systematic approach committed to a clear presentation of the current knowledge of prion diseases. It aims to inspire and stimulate interdisciplinary cooperation, innovative research ideas and effective prevention.