Prions, the causative infectious proteins, are resistant to conventional chemical and physical sterilization and decontamination methods. They can usually be denatured or hydrolyzed, however, by soaking contaminated instruments in 1N sodium hydroxide for an hour or more and then autoclaving them in distilled water at 132-134 °C for at least an hour. It can be even more difficult to inactivate prions that have come into contact with materials such as metal or glass; when feasible, these instruments should be destroyed.
The CNS tissues, specifically brain, dura mater, spinal cord and eye are highly infectious. In vCJD, lymphoreticular tissues are also highly infectious. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and several organs outside the CNS (lung, liver, kidney, spleen and placenta) are considered less infectious but should still be treated with caution.