5 Recommendations for further research
5.1 Research is urgently needed to establish the prevalence of vCJD infectivity in the UK population.
5.2 New decontamination methods should be evaluated urgently as they become available to validate their safety and efficacy against human prions and to assess the feasibility of their introduction into widespread use in the NHS. Their cost effectiveness should also be considered.
5.3 Research is needed into the practice of keeping instruments wet during and after use, as a potential means of enhancing the efficacy of the decontamination process. Further research is also required into the effectiveness of the full decontamination cycle (washing and autoclaving) in reducing prion infectivity.
5.4 Further research to help establish the risk of infection via neuroendoscopy is required. Experimental data are needed on the degree of contamination of neuroendoscopes and the efficacy of current decontamination methods in reducing CJD infectivity.