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Bastian Research Laboratory

GOALS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE BASTIAN RESEARCH LABORATORY
As outlined above, Dr. Bastian’s research lab has made substantial inroads into defining the causal agent of the TSEs. His work is based upon solid morphological data wherein he observed the helical bacterium in TSE-affected brain tissues. This evidence was supported by molecular studies which showed a definite association of a spiroplasma infection with TSEs. His recovery of the novel spiroplasma bacterium from all TSE tissues examined confirmed the clear association of this novel infection with the TSEs. It was noteworthy that his laboratory showed that the spiroplasma TSE isolate had identical biological properties to that of the transmissible scrapie agent described in the 1960s. The isolation of this organism in cell free media provides the opportunity to develop a live diagnostic test and a preventive vaccine.


RESEARCH LAB
The primary goals of the Bastian research lab is to develop a live diagnostic test for the TSEs based upon the presence of the bacterium. Recognition of immune-reacting epitopes on the bacterial surface will be the basis of those studies. The bacterial surface protein will be used to develop a live test for TSE and potentially a preventive vaccine. DEVELOPMENT K

A goal of Dr. Bastian’s research lab is to continue to document the role of a novel spiroplasma species in the pathogenesis of the TSEs. A Japanese research lab has defined the reason for presence of the prion amyloid that builds up in the tissues during the course of the disease. They showed that the normal prion protein on the cell surface serves as a receptor for a bacterium, wherein attachment of the bacterium to the prion isoform allows entry of the organism into the cell. It is presumed that the interaction of the bacterium with the prion receptor will result in misfolding of the prion protein therein forming the prion amyloid deposits. Our plan is to show binding of the novel spiroplasma isolate to prion protein in future experiments to document this theory.


PUBLICATIONS
The enclosed publications show the progression of Dr. Bastian’s as work reported in peer-reviewed journals.


COLLABORATIONS
Dr. Bastian’s laboratory is working in collaboration with Deer farmer and Hunting organizations.


FUNDING
Donations from hunters and relatives of CJD patients and gifts from Deer farmers and Hunting organizations. ANY DONATION WILL BE APPRECIATED AND SHOULD BE SENT TO DR. BASTIAN’ FUND FOR CJD RESEARCH in care of the Bastian Research Lab 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148. Make checks for deposit only in the non-profit FUND FOR CJD RESEARCH

Major funding will be identified in RFAs published by Government Agencies including National Wild Life agencies, USDA and NIH.