∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.29 ∞
For example, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, mad cow disease, scrapie (disease of sheep).
Prions are infectious proteins, that is, which are capable of causing diseases that have the effect of producing more of these proteins which in turn can be transferred to previously not affected individuals. Their mechanism of amplification is one of converting non-prion precursor proteins to an improperly folded, prion state.
Prions not only are not microorganisms they are not even organisms, nor even hereditary-material carrying entities. Prions are infectious, however, and so a consequence are lumped in with microorganisms as part of the general study of microbiology, particularly in terms of its introduction.