Friday, March 31, 2017

Pathways of Prion Spread during Early Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer

Pathways of Prion Spread during Early Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer 

Clare E. Hoover1, Kristen A. Davenport1, Davin M. Henderson1,Nathaniel D. Denkers1, Candace K. Mathiason1, Claudio Soto2, Mark D. Zabel1and Edward A. Hoover1# +Author Affiliations

1Prion Research Center, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA 2Mitchell Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Brain Disorders, Department of Neurology, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA ABSTRACT

Among prion infections, two scenarios of prion spread are generally observed: (a) early lymphoid tissue replication or (b) direct neuroinvasion without substantial antecedent lymphoid amplification. In nature, cervids are infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions by oral and nasal mucosal exposure, and studies of early CWD pathogenesis have implicated pharyngeal lymphoid tissue as the earliest sites of prion accumulation. However, knowledge of chronological events in prion spread during early infection remains incomplete. To investigate this knowledge gap in early CWD pathogenesis, we exposed white-tailed deer to CWD prions by mucosal routes and performed serial necropsies to assess PrPCWD tissue distribution by real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) and tyramide signal amplification immunohistochemistry (TSA-IHC). Although PrPCWD was not detected by either method in the initial days (1 and 3) post-exposure, we observed PrPCWD seeding activity and follicular immunoreactivity in oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues at 1 and 2 months post-exposure (MPE). At 3 MPE, PrPCWD replication had expanded to all systemic lymphoid tissues. By 4 MPE, the PrPCWD burden in all lymphoid tissues had increased, and approached levels observed in terminal disease, yet there was no evidence of nervous system invasion. These results indicate the first site of CWD prion entry is in the oropharynx and the initial phase of prion amplification occurs in the oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues followed by rapid dissemination to systemic lymphoid tissues. This lymphoid replication phase appears to precede neuroinvasion.

IMPORTANCE Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting cervids and natural infection occurs through oral and nasal mucosal exposure to infectious prions. Terminal disease is characterized by PrPCWD accumulation in the brain and lymphoid tissues of affected animals. However, the initial sites of prion accumulation and pathways of prion spread during early CWD infection remain unknown. To investigate the chronological events of early prion pathogenesis, we exposed deer to CWD prions and monitored the tissue distribution of PrPCWD over the first 4 months of infection. We show CWD uptake occurs in the oropharynx with initial prion replication in the draining oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues, rapidly followed by dissemination to systemic lymphoid tissues without evidence of neuroinvasion. This data highlights the two phases of CWD infection: a robust prion amplification in systemic lymphoid tissues prior to neuroinvasion or establishment of a carrier state.


↵#Address correspondence to Edward A. Hoover, Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. 

TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2017 

Passage of scrapie to deer results in a new phenotype upon return passage to sheep


Norway CWD Skrantesjuke: VKM report supports the National Veterinary Institute perception management

MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017 

Wyoming CWD Postive Mule Deer Doe Near Pinedale

MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017 

Wisconsin CWD TSE Prion Annual Roundup 441 positive

TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017 

Iowa 12 deer test positive for chronic wasting disease from 2016-17 hunting seasons

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017


FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017 

Nebraska Tests confirm spread of CWD to Lancaster County




South central Pennsylvania Captive Deer Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease


Maryland DNR Six Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease


TEXAS, Politicians, TAHC, TPWD, and the spread of CWD TSE Prion in Texas



From: TSS (


Date: September 30, 2002 at 7:06 am PST

From: "Belay, Ermias"

To: Cc: "Race, Richard (NIH)" ; ; "Belay, Ermias"

Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 9:22 AM


Dear Sir/Madam,

In the Archives of Neurology you quoted (the abstract of which was attached to your email), we did not say CWD in humans will present like variant CJD. That assumption would be wrong. I encourage you to read the whole article and call me if you have questions or need more clarification (phone: 404-639-3091). Also, we do not claim that "no-one has ever been infected with prion disease from eating venison." Our conclusion stating that we found no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans in the article you quoted or in any other forum is limited to the patients we investigated.

Ermias Belay, M.D. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

-----Original Message-----

From: Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 10:15 AM


Sunday, November 10, 2002 6:26 PM ......snip........end..............TSS

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease 2008 1: Vet Res. 2008 Apr 3;39(4):41 A prion 
disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease Sigurdson CJ.


*** twenty-seven CJD patients who regularly consumed venison were reported to the Surveillance Center***,

snip... full text ;

CJD is so rare in people under age 30, one case in a billion (leaving out medical mishaps), that four cases under 30 is "very high," says Colorado neurologist Bosque. "Then, if you add these other two from Wisconsin [cases in the newspaper], six cases of CJD in people associated with venison is very, very high." Only now, with Mary Riley, there are at least seven, and possibly eight, with Steve, her dining companion. "It's not critical mass that matters," however, Belay says. "One case would do it for me." The chance that two people who know each other would both contact CJD, like the two Wisconsin sportsmen, is so unlikely, experts say, it would happen only once in 140 years.

 Given the incubation period for TSEs in humans, it may require another generation to write the final chapter on CWD in Wisconsin. "Does chronic wasting disease pass into humans? We'll be able to answer that in 2022," says Race. Meanwhile, the state has become part of an immense experiment.

I urge everyone to watch this video closely...terry 

*** you can see video here and interview with Jeff's Mom, and scientist telling you to test everything and potential risk factors for humans ***


*** The potential impact of prion diseases on human health was greatly magnified by the recognition that interspecies transfer of BSE to humans by beef ingestion resulted in vCJD. While changes in animal feed constituents and slaughter practices appear to have curtailed vCJD, there is concern that CWD of free-ranging deer and elk in the U.S. might also cross the species barrier. Thus, consuming venison could be a source of human prion disease. Whether BSE and CWD represent interspecies scrapie transfer or are newly arisen prion diseases is unknown. Therefore, the possibility of transmission of prion disease through other food animals cannot be ruled out. There is evidence that vCJD can be transmitted through blood transfusion. There is likely a pool of unknown size of asymptomatic individuals infected with vCJD, and there may be asymptomatic individuals infected with the CWD equivalent. These circumstances represent a potential threat to blood, blood products, and plasma supplies.
***********CJD REPORT 1994 increased risk for consumption of veal and venison and lamb***********


Consumption of venison and veal was much less widespread among both cases and controls. For both of these meats there was evidence of a trend with increasing frequency of consumption being associated with increasing risk of CJD. (not nvCJD, but sporadic CJD...tss)

These associations were largely unchanged when attention was restricted to pairs with data obtained from relatives. ...

Table 9 presents the results of an analysis of these data.

There is STRONG evidence of an association between ‘’regular’’ veal eating and risk of CJD (p = .0.01).
Individuals reported to eat veal on average at least once a year appear to be at 13 TIMES THE RISK of individuals who have never eaten veal.
There is, however, a very wide confidence interval around this estimate. There is no strong evidence that eating veal less than once per year is associated with increased risk of CJD (p = 0.51).
The association between venison eating and risk of CJD shows similar pattern, with regular venison eating associated with a 9 FOLD INCREASE IN RISK OF CJD (p = 0.04).
There is some evidence that risk of CJD INCREASES WITH INCREASING FREQUENCY OF LAMB EATING (p = 0.02).
The evidence for such an association between beef eating and CJD is weaker (p = 0.14). When only controls for whom a relative was interviewed are included, this evidence becomes a little STRONGER (p = 0.08).
It was found that when veal was included in the model with another exposure, the association between veal and CJD remained statistically significant (p = < 0.05 for all exposures), while the other exposures ceased to be statistically significant (p = > 0.05).
In conclusion, an analysis of dietary histories revealed statistical associations between various meats/animal products and INCREASED RISK OF CJD. When some account was taken of possible confounding, the association between VEAL EATING AND RISK OF CJD EMERGED AS THE STRONGEST OF THESE ASSOCIATIONS STATISTICALLY. ...
In the study in the USA, a range of foodstuffs were associated with an increased risk of CJD, including liver consumption which was associated with an apparent SIX-FOLD INCREASE IN THE RISK OF CJD. By comparing the data from 3 studies in relation to this particular dietary factor, the risk of liver consumption became non-significant with an odds ratio of 1.2 (PERSONAL COMMUNICATION, PROFESSOR A. HOFMAN. ERASMUS UNIVERSITY, ROTTERDAM). (???...TSS)
snip...see full report ;
October 1994
Mr R.N. Elmhirst Chairman British Deer Farmers Association Holly Lodge Spencers Lane BerksWell Coventry CV7 7BZ
Dear Mr Elmhirst,
Thank you for your recent letter concerning the publication of the third annual report from the CJD Surveillance Unit. I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with the way in which this report was published.
The Surveillance Unit is a completely independant outside body and the Department of Health is committed to publishing their reports as soon as they become available. In the circumstances it is not the practice to circulate the report for comment since the findings of the report would not be amended. In future we can ensure that the British Deer Farmers Association receives a copy of the report in advance of publication.
The Chief Medical Officer has undertaken to keep the public fully informed of the results of any research in respect of CJD. This report was entirely the work of the unit and was produced completely independantly of the the Department.
The statistical results reqarding the consumption of venison was put into perspective in the body of the report and was not mentioned at all in the press release. Media attention regarding this report was low key but gave a realistic presentation of the statistical findings of the Unit. This approach to publication was successful in that consumption of venison was highlighted only once by the media ie. in the News at one television proqramme.
I believe that a further statement about the report, or indeed statistical links between CJD and consumption of venison, would increase, and quite possibly give damaging credence, to the whole issue. From the low key media reports of which I am aware it seems unlikely that venison consumption will suffer adversely, if at all.

*** WDA 2016 NEW YORK ***
We found that CWD adapts to a new host more readily than BSE and that human PrP was unexpectedly prone to misfolding by CWD prions. In addition, we investigated the role of specific regions of the bovine, deer and human PrP protein in resistance to conversion by prions from another species. We have concluded that the human protein has a region that confers unusual susceptibility to conversion by CWD prions.
Student Presentations Session 2
The species barriers and public health threat of CWD and BSE prions
Ms. Kristen Davenport1, Dr. Davin Henderson1, Dr. Candace Mathiason1, Dr. Edward Hoover1 1Colorado State University
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is spreading rapidly through cervid populations in the USA. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, mad cow disease) arose in the 1980s because cattle were fed recycled animal protein. These and other prion diseases are caused by abnormal folding of the normal prion protein (PrP) into a disease causing form (PrPd), which is pathogenic to nervous system cells and can cause subsequent PrP to misfold. CWD spreads among cervids very efficiently, but it has not yet infected humans. On the other hand, BSE was spread only when cattle consumed infected bovine or ovine tissue, but did infect humans and other species. The objective of this research is to understand the role of PrP structure in cross-species infection by CWD and BSE. To study the propensity of each species’ PrP to be induced to misfold by the presence of PrPd from verious species, we have used an in vitro system that permits detection of PrPd in real-time. We measured the conversion efficiency of various combinations of PrPd seeds and PrP substrate combinations. We observed the cross-species behavior of CWD and BSE, in addition to feline-adapted CWD and BSE. We found that CWD adapts to a new host more readily than BSE and that human PrP was unexpectedly prone to misfolding by CWD prions. In addition, we investigated the role of specific regions of the bovine, deer and human PrP protein in resistance to conversion by prions from another species. We have concluded that the human protein has a region that confers unusual susceptibility to conversion by CWD prions. CWD is unique among prion diseases in its rapid spread in natural populations. BSE prions are essentially unaltered upon passage to a new species, while CWD adapts to the new species. This adaptation has consequences for surveillance of humans exposed to CWD.
Wildlife Disease Risk Communication Research Contributes to Wildlife Trust Administration Exploring perceptions about chronic wasting disease risks among wildlife and agriculture professionals and stakeholders
Zoonotic Potential of CWD Prions: An Update
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a widespread and highly transmissible prion disease in free-ranging and captive cervid species in North America. The zoonotic potential of CWD prions is a serious public health concern, but the susceptibility of human CNS and peripheral organs to CWD prions remains largely unresolved. We reported earlier that peripheral and CNS infections were detected in transgenic mice expressing human PrP129M or PrP129V. Here we will present an update on this project, including evidence for strain dependence and influence of cervid PrP polymorphisms on CWD zoonosis as well as the characteristics of experimental human CWD prions.
PRION 2016 TOKYO In Conjunction with Asia Pacific Prion Symposium 2016 PRION 2016 Tokyo Prion 2016
Cervid to human prion transmission
Kong, Qingzhong
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States
Prion disease is transmissible and invariably fatal. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is the prion disease affecting deer, elk and moose, and it is a widespread and expanding epidemic affecting 22 US States and 2 Canadian provinces so far. CWD poses the most serious zoonotic prion transmission risks in North America because of huge venison consumption (>6 million deer/elk hunted and consumed annually in the USA alone), significant prion infectivity in muscles and other tissues/fluids from CWD-affected cervids, and usually high levels of individual exposure to CWD resulting from consumption of the affected animal among often just family and friends. However, we still do not know whether CWD prions can infect humans in the brain or peripheral tissues or whether clinical/asymptomatic CWD zoonosis has already occurred, and we have no essays to reliably detect CWD infection in humans. We hypothesize that:
(1) The classic CWD prion strain can infect humans at low levels in the brain and peripheral lymphoid tissues;
(2) The cervid-to-human transmission barrier is dependent on the cervid prion strain and influenced by the host (human) prion protein (PrP) primary sequence;
(3) Reliable essays can be established to detect CWD infection in humans;and
(4) CWD transmission to humans has already occurred. We will test these hypotheses in 4 Aims using transgenic (Tg) mouse models and complementary in vitro approaches.
Aim 1 will prove that the classical CWD strain may infect humans in brain or peripheral lymphoid tissues at low levels by conducting systemic bioassays in a set of "humanized" Tg mouse lines expressing common human PrP variants using a number of CWD isolates at varying doses and routes. Experimental "human CWD" samples will also be generated for Aim 3.
Aim 2 will test the hypothesis that the cervid-to-human prion transmission barrier is dependent on prion strain and influenced by the host (human) PrP sequence by examining and comparing the transmission efficiency and phenotypes of several atypical/unusual CWD isolates/strains as well as a few prion strains from other species that have adapted to cervid PrP sequence, utilizing the same panel of humanized Tg mouse lines as in Aim 1.
Aim 3 will establish reliable essays for detection and surveillance of CWD infection in humans by examining in details the clinical, pathological, biochemical and in vitro seeding properties of existing and future experimental "human CWD" samples generated from Aims 1-2 and compare them with those of common sporadic human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) prions.
Aim 4 will attempt to detect clinical CWD-affected human cases by examining a significant number of brain samples from prion-affected human subjects in the USA and Canada who have consumed venison from CWD-endemic areas utilizing the criteria and essays established in Aim 3. The findings from this proposal will greatly advance our understandings on the potential and characteristics of cervid prion transmission in humans, establish reliable essays for CWD zoonosis and potentially discover the first case(s) of CWD infection in humans.
Public Health Relevance There are significant and increasing human exposure to cervid prions because chronic wasting disease (CWD, a widespread and highly infectious prion disease among deer and elk in North America) continues spreading and consumption of venison remains popular, but our understanding on cervid-to-human prion transmission is still very limited, raising public health concerns. This proposal aims to define the zoonotic risks of cervid prions and set up and apply essays to detect CWD zoonosis using mouse models and in vitro methods. The findings will greatly expand our knowledge on the potentials and characteristics of cervid prion transmission in humans, establish reliable essays for such infections and may discover the first case(s) of CWD infection in humans.
Key Molecular Mechanisms of TSEs
Zabel, Mark D.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO, United States Abstract Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans, cervids, bovids, and ovids. The absolute requirement of PrPC expression to generate prion diseases and the lack of instructional nucleic acid define prions as unique infectious agents. Prions exhibit species-specific tropism, inferring that unique prion strains exist that preferentially infct certain host species and confront transmission barriers to heterologous host species. However, transmission barriers are not absolute. Scientific consensus agrees that the sheep TSE scrapie probably breached the transmission barrier to cattle causing bovine spongiform encephalopathy that subsequently breached the human transmission barrier and likely caused several hundred deaths by a new-variant form of the human TSE Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the UK and Europe. The impact to human health, emotion and economies can still be felt in areas like farming, blood and organ donations and the threat of a latent TSE epidemic. This precedent raises the real possibility of other TSEs, like chronic wasting disease of cervids, overcoming similar human transmission barriers. A groundbreaking discovery made last year revealed that mice infected with heterologous prion strains facing significant transmission barriers replicated prions far more readily in spleens than brains6. Furthermore, these splenic prions exhibited weakened transmission barriers and expanded host ranges compared to neurogenic prions. These data question conventional wisdom of avoiding neural tissue to avoid prion xenotransmission, when more promiscuous prions may lurk in extraneural tissues. Data derived from work previously funded by NIH demonstrate that Complement receptors CD21/35 bind prions and high density PrPC and differentially impact prion disease depending on the prion isolate or strain used. Recent advances in live animal and whole organ imaging have led us to generate preliminary data to support novel, innovative approaches to assessing prion capture and transport. We plan to test our unifying hypothesis for this proposal that CD21/35 control the processes of peripheral prion capture, transport, strain selection and xenotransmission in the following specific aims. 1. Assess the role of CD21/35 in splenic prion strain selection and host range expansion. 2. Determine whether CD21/35 and C1q differentially bind distinct prion strains 3. Monitor the effects of CD21/35 on prion trafficking in real time and space 4. Assess the role of CD21/35 in incunabular prion trafficking
Public Health Relevance Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, are devastating illnesses that greatly impact public health, agriculture and wildlife in North America and around the world. The impact to human health, emotion and economies can still be felt in areas like farming, blood and organ donations and the threat of a latent TSE epidemic. This precedent raises the real possibility of other TSEs, like chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids, overcoming similar human transmission barriers. Early this year Canada reported its first case of BSE in over a decade audits first case of CWD in farmed elk in three years, underscoring the need for continued vigilance and research. Identifying mechanisms of transmission and zoonoses remains an extremely important and intense area of research that will benefit human and other animal populations.

PMCA Detection of CWD Infection in Cervid and Non-Cervid Species
Hoover, Edward Arthur
Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO, United States
*** These results would seem to suggest that CWD does indeed have zoonotic potential, at least as judged by the compatibility of CWD prions and their human PrPC target. Furthermore, extrapolation from this simple in vitro assay suggests that if zoonotic CWD occurred, it would most likely effect those of the PRNP codon 129-MM genotype and that the PrPres type would be similar to that found in the most common subtype of sCJD (MM1).***

Monday, May 02, 2016
 *** Zoonotic Potential of CWD Prions: An Update Prion 2016 Tokyo ***

*** We recently observed the direct transmission of a natural classical scrapie isolate to macaque after a 10-year silent incubation period,
***with features similar to some reported for human cases of sporadic CJD, albeit requiring fourfold long incubation than BSE. Scrapie, as recently evoked in humanized mice (Cassard, 2014),
***is the third potentially zoonotic PD (with BSE and L-type BSE),
***thus questioning the origin of human sporadic cases. We will present an updated panorama of our different transmission studies and discuss the implications of such extended incubation periods on risk assessment of animal PD for human health.
***thus questioning the origin of human sporadic cases***
***our findings suggest that possible transmission risk of H-type BSE to sheep and human. Bioassay will be required to determine whether the PMCA products are infectious to these animals.
*** In complement to the recent demonstration that humanized mice are susceptible to scrapie, we report here the first observation of direct transmission of a natural classical scrapie isolate to a macaque after a 10-year incubation period. Neuropathologic examination revealed all of the features of a prion disease: spongiform change, neuronal loss, and accumulation of PrPres throughout the CNS.
*** This observation strengthens the questioning of the harmlessness of scrapie to humans, at a time when protective measures for human and animal health are being dismantled and reduced as c-BSE is considered controlled and being eradicated.
*** Our results underscore the importance of precautionary and protective measures and the necessity for long-term experimental transmission studies to assess the zoonotic potential of other animal prion strains.
why do we not want to do TSE transmission studies on chimpanzees $
5. A positive result from a chimpanzee challenged severly would likely create alarm in some circles even if the result could not be interpreted for man. I have a view that all these agents could be transmitted provided a large enough dose by appropriate routes was given and the animals kept long enough. Until the mechanisms of the species barrier are more clearly understood it might be best to retain that hypothesis.
Transmission Studies
Mule deer transmissions of CWD were by intracerebral inoculation and compared with natural cases {the following was written but with a single line marked through it ''first passage (by this route)}...TSS
resulted in a more rapidly progressive clinical disease with repeated episodes of synocopy ending in coma. One control animal became affected, it is believed through contamination of inoculum (?saline). Further CWD transmissions were carried out by Dick Marsh into ferret, mink and squirrel monkey. Transmission occurred in ALL of these species with the shortest incubation period in the ferret.
Spongiform Encephalopathy in Captive Wild ZOO BSE INQUIRY
”The occurrence of CWD must be viewed against the contest of the locations in which it occurred. It was an incidental and unwelcome complication of the respective wildlife research programmes. Despite it’s subsequent recognition as a new disease of cervids, therefore justifying direct investigation, no specific research funding was forthcoming. The USDA veiwed it as a wildlife problem and consequently not their province!” page 26.
We inoculated cynomolgus macaques with serial dilutions of BSE-infected material. High dose-inoculated animals developed typical clinical disease with all the pathognomonic hallmarks, and incubation periods ranging from 3–8 years. Among low-dosed animals, some developed clinical signs with atypical patterns after extensive incubation periods, exhibiting lesion and biochemical profiles that differed sharply from the typical disease picture. Despite the presence of neurological signs and neuronal lesions, classical lesions of spongiosis and presence of cerebral PrPres were inconstant, or even absent. These observations suggest that low-dose exposure, which would have been the most frequent occurrence during the period of risk, could induce a non-typical pathology that may not be recognized as "prion disease."
link url not available, please see PRION 2011 ;


Amyloid‑β accumulation in the CNS in human growth hormone recipients in the UK

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.


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