Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of mule deer, whitetailed deer, elk (wapiti), and moose. TSEs are caused by unusual infectious agents known as prions. To date, CWD has been found mainly in cervids (members of the deer family). First recognized as a clinical "wasting" syndrome in 1967 in mule deer in a wildlife research facility in northern Colorado, USA, it was identified as a TSE in 1978 and has spread to a dozen states and two Canadian provinces. CWD is typified by chronic weight loss leading to death. There is no known relationship between CWD and any other TSE of animals or people.

Although there have been reports in the popular press of humans being affected by CWD, a study by the CDC suggests that "[m]ore epidemiologic and laboratory studies are needed to monitor the possibility of such transmissions." The epidemiological study further concludes that, "[a]s a precaution, hunters should avoid eating deer and elk tissues known to harbor the CWD agent (e.g., brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes) from areas where CWD has been identified."

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Where belief in free will is linked to happiness

Western and Asian cultures tend to have different core beliefs around free will. In a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology, Jingguang Li, professor at Dali University, and his research team show the link between ...

Study identifies genomic features of cervical cancer

Investigators with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have identified novel genomic and molecular characteristics of cervical cancer that will aid in the subclassification of the disease and may help target therapies ...

Cholesterol—Good for the brain, bad for the heart

Healthy brains need plenty of cholesterol for nerve cells to grow and work properly, but diabetes can reduce the amount of cholesterol in the brain, as a Joslin Diabetes Center team has demonstrated. Joslin researchers and ...