An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15961 entries, 13944 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: April 29, 2024

GAJDUSEK, Daniel Carleton

4 entries
  • 4729.1

Degenerative disease of the central nervous system in New Guinea. The endemic occurrence of “Kuru” in the native population.

New Engl. J. Med., 257, 974-78, 1957.

First description of Kuru, a disease occurring in natives of New Guinea. Cause of the disease was unknown.

"It is now widely accepted that kuru was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea via funerary cannibalism. Deceased family members were traditionally cooked and eaten, which was thought to help free the spirit of the dead.[4] Women and children usually consumed the brain, the organ in which infectious prions were most concentrated, thus allowing for transmission of kuru. The disease was therefore more prevalent among women and children" (Wikipedia article on Kuru, accessed 12-2019).


Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Papua New Guinea, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Prion Diseases, NEUROLOGY › Degenerative Disorders
  • 13914

Attempts to demonstrate a transmissible agent in Kuru, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and other subacute and chronic progressive nervous system degenerations in man. Addendum p. 46 in: Slow, latent, and temperate virus infections. NINDB Monograph No. 2. Edited by D. Carleton Gajdusek, Clarence J. Gibbs, Jr., and Michael Alpers.

Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1965.

In their Addendum on p. 46 the authors stated that 20 and 21 months post innocculation in the brain with brain material from Kuru patients two chimpanzees showed symptoms of an illness suggestive of Kuru. Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.

The authors formally reported these results the following year in Gajdusek, Gibbs, & Alpers, "Experimental transmission of a Kuru-like syndrome to chimpanzees," Nature, 209 (1966), 794-96.

(Thanks to Juan Weiss for this reference and its interpretation.)

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Prion Diseases, NEUROLOGY › Degenerative Disorders
  • 4729.2

Transmission of two subacute spongiform encephalopathies of man (Kuru and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease) to New World monkeys.

Nature, 230, 588-91, 1971.

Following Hadlow's suggestion (1959), Gadjusek was able to transmit Kuru and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease to primates through cerebral inoculations. Similarity in the clinical course of the diseases and in the cellular pathology of brain material suggested similar causative agents.

Gajdusek shared the Nobel Prize with Baruch S. Blumberg in 1976 for his work on infectious diseases.

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Prion Diseases, NEUROLOGY › Degenerative Disorders
  • 12595

The spectrum of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the virus-induced subacute spongiform encephalopathies. IN: Smith & Cavanagh, editors, Recent advances in neuropathology, Vol. 2., Chapter 6, pp. 129-163.

Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone, 1982.

The authors reported a detailed and complete analysis of the original slides of the brain done by Afons Jakob, and provided a partial translation into English, with a detailed analysis of Jakob's clinical description, of the four cases he reported in his paper of 1921, and his fifth case reported in 1923. They concluded, "In summary our review of the original sections used by Jakob establishes several important points which help in the clarification of the nosology of CJD. First, at least two of Jakob's five cases had spogiform encephalopathy which fall within the present day diagnostic criteria. These cases represent the earliest proven examples of subacute spongiform encephalopathy, and justify the retention of Jakob's name in the eponymous designation of the disease." They also stated that "...Creutzfeldt's case remains undiagnosed by modern criteria, but fit best within the acquired toxic-metabolic encephalopathies." Their findings confirmed that Jakob, and not Creutzfeldt, first described what came to be known, incorrectly, as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. 

(Thanks to Juan Weiss for this reference and its interpretation.)

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Prion Diseases, NEUROLOGY › Degenerative Disorders