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

Novel approach to track HIV infection

Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Make way for hemoglobin

Every cell in the body, whether skin or muscle or brain, starts out as a generic cell that acquires its unique characteristics after undergoing a process of specialization. Nowhere is this process more dramatic than it is ...

How whip-like cell appendages promote bodily fluid flow

Researchers at Nagoya University have identified a molecule that enables cell appendages called cilia to beat in a coordinated way to drive the flow of fluid around the brain; this prevents the accumulation of this fluid, ...