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A critical concern in the transmission of prion diseases, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids, is the potential presence of prions in body fluids. To address this issue directly, we exposed cohorts of CWD-naïve deer to saliva, blood, or urine and feces from CWD-positive deer. We found infectious prions capable of transmitting CWD in saliva(More)
Accumulated evidence in experimental and natural prion disease systems supports a neural route of infectious prion spread from peripheral sites of entry to the central nervous system. However, little is known about prion trafficking routes in cervids with a naturally occurring prion disease known as chronic wasting disease (CWD). In the brain, the(More)
The emergence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk in an increasingly wide geographic area, as well as the interspecies transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans in the form of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, have raised concerns about the zoonotic potential of CWD. Because meat consumption is the most likely means of(More)
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease affecting captive and free-ranging cervids (e.g. deer, elk, and moose). The mechanisms of CWD transmission are poorly understood, though bodily fluids are thought to play an important role. Here we report the presence of infectious prions in the urine and saliva of deer with chronic wasting disease (CWD).(More)
Key to understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of prion diseases, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids, is determining the mode of transmission from one individual to another. We have previously reported that saliva and blood from CWD-infected deer contain sufficient infectious prions to transmit disease upon passage into naïve deer.(More)
The pathophysiological bases of cognitive, motor, and behavioral abnormalities in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) remain largely unknown. To test the possibility that changes in hippocampal neuronal structure may contribute to these neurologic abnormalities, we examined the brains of cats infected with the feline(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)
A replication-defective variant of feline leukemia virus was molecularly cloned directly from infected tissue and found to induce a rapid and fatal immunodeficiency syndrome in cats. Studies with cloned viruses also showed that subtle mutational changes would convert a minimally pathogenic virus into one that would induce an acute form of immunodeficiency.(More)
BACKGROUND Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids is a prion disease distinguished by high levels of transmissibility, wherein bodily fluids and excretions are thought to play an important role. Using cervid bioassay and established CWD detection methods, we have previously identified infectious prions in saliva and blood but not urine or feces of CWD+(More)