While the neuropathology of kuru is well defined, there are few data concerning the distribution of disease-related prion protein in peripheral tissues. Here we report the investigation of brain and peripheral tissues from a kuru patient who died in 2003. Neuropathological findings were compared with those seen in classical (sporadic and iatrogenic) Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and variant CJD (vCJD). The neuropathological findings of the kuru patient showed all the stereotypical changes that define kuru, with the occurrence of prominent PrP plaques throughout the brain. Lymphoreticular tissue showed no evidence of prion colonization, suggesting that the peripheral pathogenesis of kuru is similar to that seen in classical CJD rather than vCJD. These findings now strongly suggest that the characteristic peripheral pathogenesis of vCJD is determined by prion strain type alone rather than route of infection.