In 2009, a pathologist with sporadic Creutzfeldt- Jakob Disease (sCJD) was reported to the Spanish registry. This case prompted a request for information on health-related occupation in sCJD cases from countries participating in the European Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Surveillance network (EuroCJD). Responses from registries in 21 countries revealed that of 8,321 registered cases, 65 physicians or dentists, two of whom were pathologists, and another 137 healthcare workers had been identified with sCJD. Five countries reported 15 physicians and 68 other health professionals among 2,968 controls or non-cases, suggesting no relative excess of sCJD among healthcare professionals. A literature review revealed: (i) 12 case or small case-series reports of 66 health professionals with sCJD, and (ii) five analytical studies on health-related occupation and sCJD, where statistically significant findings were solely observed for persons working at physicians' offices (odds ratio: 4.6 (95 CI: 1.2-17.6)). We conclude that a wide spectrum of medical specialities and health professions are represented in sCJD cases and that the data analysed do not support any overall increased occupational risk for health professionals. Nevertheless, there may be a specific risk in some professions associated with direct contact with high human-infectivity tissue.

Alcalde-Cabero, E., Almazán-Isla, J., Brandel, J.-P., Breithaupt, M., Catarino, J., Collins, S., … de Pedro-Cuesta, J. (2012). Health professions and risk of sporadic Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease, 1965 to 2010. Eurosurveillance, 17(15). Retrieved from