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Handling of unconventional pathogens

Handling of unconventional pathogens

Der Pathologe 14(6): 351-354

This article summarizes decontamination problems in handling transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) in the field of human pathology. The combination of chemical (i.e. 1 M NaOH, 1 h, room temperature) and physical (i.e. autoclaving for 30 min at 131 degrees C) decontamination methods was proven to be suitable for instruments and other materials. Als for the autopsy of suspected TSE patients, safety measures have to be taken. The brain preparation, in particular, represents a considerable risk which must be minimized by appropriate safety measures. Conventional formaldehyde fixation does not decontaminate tissues! Embedding, cutting, deparaffinization and processing or staining have to be done with cautions; members of staff must be aware of the danger. After the handling of suspect materials, the hands should be washed without brushing the skin. In the case of percutaneous inoculation the injury must be decontaminated immediately using iodine- or phenol-containing preparations, 0.5 M NaOH or 1:3000 potassium permanganate.

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Accession: 046211500

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PMID: 8121888

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