Prion Conference – New Findings on CWD

Prion Conference – New Findings on CWD

A FEW FINDINGS:

To our knowledge, this is the first established experimental model of CWD in TgSB3985. We found evidence for co-existence or divergence of two CWD strains adapted to Tga20 mice and their replication in TgSB3985 mice. Finally, we observed phenotypic differences between cervid-derived CWD and CWD/Tg20 strains upon propagation in TgSB3985 mice. Further studies are underway to characterize these strains.

We conclude that TSE infectivity is likely to survive burial for long time periods with minimal loss of infectivity and limited movement from the original burial site. However PMCA results have shown that there is the potential for rainwater to elute TSE related material from soil which could lead to the contamination of a wider area. These experiments reinforce the importance of risk assessment when disposing of TSE risk materials.

The results show that even highly diluted PrPSc can bind efficiently to polypropylene, stainless steel, glass, wood and stone and propagate the conversion of normal prion protein. For in vivo experiments, hamsters were ic injected with implants incubated in 1% 263K-infected brain homogenate. Hamsters, inoculated with 263K-contaminated implants of all groups, developed typical signs of prion disease, whereas control animals inoculated with non-contaminated materials did not.

Our data establish that meadow voles are permissive to CWD via peripheral exposure route, suggesting they could serve as an environmental reservoir for CWD. Additionally, our data are consistent with the hypothesis that at least two strains of CWD circulate in naturally-infected cervid populations and provide evidence that meadow voles are a useful tool for CWD strain typing.

Conclusion. CWD prions are shed in saliva and urine of infected deer as early as 3 months post infection and throughout the subsequent >1.5 year course of infection. In current work we are examining the relationship of prionemia to excretion and the impact of excreted prion binding to surfaces and particulates in the environment.

Conclusion. CWD prions (as inferred by prion seeding activity by RT-QuIC) are shed in urine of infected deer as early as 6 months post inoculation and throughout the subsequent disease course. Further studies are in progress refining the real-time urinary prion assay sensitivity and we are examining more closely the excretion time frame, magnitude, and sample variables in relationship to inoculation route and prionemia in naturally and experimentally CWD-infected cervids.

Conclusions. Our results suggested that the odds of infection for CWD is likely controlled by areas that congregate deer thus increasing direct transmission (deer-to-deer interactions) or indirect transmission (deer-to-environment) by sharing or depositing infectious prion proteins in these preferred habitats. Epidemiology of CWD in the eastern U.S. is likely controlled by separate factors than found in the Midwestern and endemic areas for CWD and can assist in performing more efficient surveillance efforts for the region.

Conclusions. During the pre-symptomatic stage of CWD infection and throughout the course of disease deer may be shedding multiple LD50 doses per day in their saliva. CWD prion shedding through saliva and excreta may account for the unprecedented spread of this prion disease in nature.