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Variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: To the best of our knowledge, there is no test for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease that does not require a tonsil or appendix sample to be in good condition to give a meaningful result.

Some samples in the retrospective studies on tonsil and appendixes were unsuitable for analysis because they were found by scientists to be damaged, or otherwise of insufficient quality to enable analysis to be carried out. At the time the samples were taken, during routine surgery, there had been no intention of subjecting them to further analysis.

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: No. Whilst tonsil biopsy or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, taken with other criteria, can enable clinicians to determine with reasonable confidence whether or not an individual showing clinical symptoms of the disease is suffering from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), there is still no test available to detect those who may be infected with vCJD but have no symptoms.

27 Jul 2000 : Column WA99

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether all the Leicestershire tonsil and appendix samples taken since 1985 are to be tested for nvCJD; if so, what test will be used on samples that are not in good condition; and, if not, what criteria will be used to exclude samples.[HL3447]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: There are significant logistical and ethical difficulties associated with the design of any studies of this type. Any proposal for such a study received by the Department of Health would need to undergo rigorous peer-review and ethical approval in line with procedures established for other similar studies.

The protocol for detecting abnormal prion protein in tonsil and appendix tissues requires the presence of sufficient lymphoid tissue in the sample. Results will not be obtainable from samples where there is insufficient lymphoid tissue present or the tissue has been so badly damaged that it is unsuitable for prion protein detection.

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many children of nvCJD victims have moderate or severe neurological symptoms of unknown origin.[HL3446]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit (NCJDSU) is aware of one child of a variant CJD patient with neurological symptoms. The NCJDSU is not aware of any suspect cases of vCJD in a family member of a vCJD patient.

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are (to the nearest month) the date of onset, duration of illness and age at death for all victims of the nvCJD outbreak; and[HL3427]

    What are (to the nearest month) the date of onset, duration of illness and age at death of the five nvCJD cases in the Leicestershire cluster; and [HL3445]

    What are (to the nearest month) the date of onset and the current age of victims of nvCJD who are still living.[HL3448]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The date of onset, duration of illness and age at death, or current age if the patient is still alive, for all definite and probable variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease patients known to the National CJD Surveillance Unit on 20 July 2000 are set out in the table.

We cannot provide data relating to cases in a particular geographical location in order to preserve the anonymity of patients and their families.

Date of OnsetDuration (months)Age (Years) at DeathCurrent Age (Years) if Alive
January 19942950
February 19942329
March 19943819
June 19941119
July 19941841
August 19941830
December 19942628
December 19941129
January 19951730
January 19951030
January 19951320
March 19951129
July 19951435
August 1995931
September 19953033
October 19951736
December 19951425
December 19951119
January 19961723
January 19962334
March 19961219
March 19961423
March 19962524
May 19962445
May 19962924
October 19961236
November 1996827
December 19962420
December 19963317
February 19971153
March 19973921
July 19971318
July 19971325
July 19971536
August 19971629
October 19971628
October 19971235
November 19971139
November 19971120
November 19971226
December 19971417
December 19971425
December 19971224
January 19981623
February 19981151
February 19982626
March 1998821
April 1998741
May 19981439
May 1998720
May 19981833
June 19982017
June 19981425
July 1998AliveAlive14
July 19981525
July 19982224
September 19981817
September 19981817
October 1998AliveAlive30
January 1999729
January 1999954
February 1999934
March 19991620
April 19991027
April 19991319
April 1999915
April 19991222
May 19991025
May 19991231
June 1999643
June 1999AliveAlive37
July 19991151
August 1999AliveAlive21
October 1999AliveAlive28
November 1999AliveAlive24
November 1999AliveAlive29
December 1999AliveAlive27
January 2000AliveAlive25

27 Jul 2000 : Column WA100

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