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Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease. These etiological infectious agents are formed in greater part from a misfolded cell-surface protein called PrP(C). Several mammalian species are affected by the diseases, and in the case of "mad cow disease" (BSE) the agent has a tropism for humans, with negative consequences for agribusiness(More)
Antemortem biopsy of the rectal mucosa was evaluated as a method for the preclinical diagnosis of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a herd of ranch-raised Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) quarantined because of exposure to CWD. Biopsy samples were obtained from 41 elk during the winter of 2005-2006 and from 26 elk from that herd still alive and(More)
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in animals include, among others, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie, chronic wasting disease, and atypical forms of prion diseases. Diagnosis of TSEs is based on identification of characteristic lesions or on detection of the abnormal prion proteins in tissues, often by use of their partial(More)
Prions are infectious proteins composed of the abnormal disease-causing isoform PrPSc, which induces conformational conversion of the host-encoded normal cellular prion protein PrPC to additional PrPSc. The mechanism underlying prion strain mutation in the absence of nucleic acids remains unresolved. Additionally, the frequency of strains causing chronic(More)
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious, fatal prion disease of deer and elk that continues to emerge in new locations. To explore the means by which prions are transmitted with high efficiency among cervids, we examined prion infectivity in the apical skin layer covering the growing antler (antler velvet) by using CWD-susceptible transgenic mice and(More)
Chronic wasting disease (CWD), an important emerging prion disease of cervids, is readily transmitted by intracerebral or oral inoculation from deer-to-deer and elk-to-elk, suggesting the latter is a natural route of exposure. Studies of host range susceptibility to oral infection, particularly of those species found in habitats where CWD currently exists(More)
Chronic wasting disease (CWD), the only known prion disease endemic in wildlife, is a persistent problem in both wild and captive North American cervid populations. This disease continues to spread and cases are found in new areas each year. Indirect transmission can occur via the environment and is thought to occur by the oral and/or intranasal route. Oral(More)
The risks posed to human health by individual animal prion diseases cannot be determined a priori and are difficult to address empirically. The fundamental event in prion disease pathogenesis is thought to be the seeded conversion of normal prion protein to its pathologic isoform. We used a rapid molecular conversion assay (protein misfolding cyclic(More)
BACKGROUND The cause of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom (UK) was the inclusion of contaminated meat and bone meal in the protein rations fed to cattle. Those rations were not restricted to cattle but were also fed to other livestock including farmed and free living deer. Although there are no reported cases to date(More)
The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) comprises a natively unstructured N-terminal domain, including a metal-binding octarepeat region (OR) and a linker, followed by a C-terminal domain that misfolds to form PrP(S) (c) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. PrP(C) β-endoproteolysis to the C2 fragment allows PrP(S) (c) formation, while α-endoproteolysis blocks(More)