International research has discovered that CJD-causing prions can be found in organs other than the brain and central nervous system, a finding that could have serious implications for the food industry.

Up until now, only the brain and spinal cord tissue are removed from BSE-prone animal carcasses for public health reasons but scientists working with laboratory mice found prions remaining in their kidney, pancreas, and liver, after the animals were infected with scrapie, which is related to BSE, or mad cow disease, and CJD.

According to the Swiss, German and American study published in US journal Science, the mice had inflammatory disease that may have created an environment enabling the prions to spread.