Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Prion-Seeding Activity Is widely Distributed in Tissues of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients

Research Paper


Prion-Seeding Activity Is widely Distributed in Tissues of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients


Hanae Takatsuki PhDa, Takayuki Fuse PhDa, Takehiro Nakagaki MD, PhDa, TsuyoshiMori PhDb, Ban Mihara MD, PhDc, Masaki TakaoMD, PhDc,d, Yasushi Iwasaki MD, PhDe, Mari Yoshida MD, PhDe, Shigeo Murayama MD, PhDf, Ryuichiro Atarashi MD, PhDb, Noriyuki Nishida MD, PhDa, Katsuya Satoh MD, PhDg,⁎


a Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan


b Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan


c Department of Neurology, Institute of Brain and Blood Vessels, Mihara Memorial Hospital, Isesaki, Japan


d Department of Neurology International Medical Center, Saitama Medical University, Saitama, Japan


e Department of Neuropathology, Institute for Medical Science of Aging, Aichi Medical University, Aichi, Japan


f Department of Neuropathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital and Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan


g Department of Locomotive Rehabilitation Science, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan


 Article history: Received 11 June 2016 Received in revised form 16 August 2016 Accepted 23 August 2016 Available online xxxx




Human prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders caused by abnormally folded prion proteins in the central nervous system. These proteins can be detected using the quaking-induced conversion assay. Compared with other bioassays, this assay is extremely sensitive and was used in the present study to determine prion distribution in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients at autopsy. Although infectivity of the sporadic form is thought to be restricted within the central nervous system, results showed that prion-seeding activities reach 106/g from a 50% seeding dose in non-neuronal tissues, suggesting that prion-seeding activity exists in non-neural organs, and we suggested that non-neural tissues of 106/g SD50 did not exist the infectivity.


Keywords: Prion Prion-seeding activity SD50 Non-neural tissue Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease


© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).




4. Discussion


Prion-seeding activity in tissues from sCJD patients was evaluated using the endpoint RT-QuIC assay, which revealed an unexpectedly wide distribution of prion activity in all tested patients. The SD50 values reached approximately 106/g in extra-neural organs. With the exception of a single adrenal gland (Patient #2), we were not able to detect PrP-res using theWestern blotting assay with PTA.We also did not observe abnormal PrP-immunopositivity on tissue sections. However, this could be due to prion-seeding activities in non-neuronal tissues that were 10,000 times lower than in brain tissues.


The RT-QuIC assaywas approximately 104 timesmore sensitive than the bioassay using knock-in mice expressing a human-mouse chimeric PrP (Fig. 1), although the SD50 was reported to be 100 times greater than the LD50 of 263 K hamster prions (Atarashi et al., 2011). Because the prion-seeding activity in kidney tissues of sCJD patients was 105.5– 6.25/g, for example, infectivity (LD50) could be 101.5/g in the organ. This is an extremely low level of infectivity compared with CNS infections. However, it should not be overlooked that prion activity could become detectable in peripheral organs, because human prion disease can develop even after a 30–40-year incubation period (Collinge et al., 2006).


Additionally, the tissue volume was 103–4 greater than the human brain volume, and PrP-res in non-neuronal tissues was 103–4 greater than in the brain. Ourmethod allowed detection of PrP-res in the spleen of Patient #2 (Fig. 3). The SD50 in the Patient #2 brain (SD50: 9.42)was 103–4 greater than the SD50 in the spleen of Patient #2 (SD50: 6.25). Therefore, our method successfully concentrated tissues by approximately 103–4 greater than standard Western blotting.


Expression of physiological PrP in the human body has been well studied. PrPC is expressed in almost all tissues, although mRNA expression levels are highest in the CNS; the spleen and liver are 1/20 of the cortex, the lungs are 1/10, and the kidneys and adrenal glands are 1/5 (The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, 2013; Uhlen et al., 2015). PrP-res has been detected in the spleen and muscles of some sCJD patients by Western blotting analysis when PrP-res in the samples was concentrated by PTA (Glatzel et al., 2003). However, we cannot ignore the possibility that seeding activities detected in peripheral tissues are a result of infectious agents overflowing from the CNS, because results showthat kidneys and adrenal glands can be infected and produce abnormal PrP in situ. This study is the first to identify prion-seeding activities in the kidney or liver, and we may have to collect organs from pre-symptomatic CJD patients. The highly sensitive RT-QuIC assay may be useful for providing safer methods and techniques when using human materials.


Fig. 3.Western blotting analysis of PrP-res in tissue fromsporadic CJD patients using the concentrationmethod,which precipitates the sample by centrifugal separation. The brain (1 mg) or tissue (100mg of weight) homogenates, such as spleen, kidney, adrenal gland, liver, or lung fromnormal persons (a–b, upper panel) or sporadic CJD patient 2 (a, lower panel) and 4 (b, lower panel),were digestedwith PK and sampleswere prepared forWestern blotting (see Materials and Methods). The tissues (100mg) and brain (1, 10, or 100 μg) sampleswere loaded on SDS-PAGE, and PrPSc was detected using anti-PrP (3F4) monoclonal antibody and anti-mouse IgG antibody-conjugated HRP. The brain samples were used as a detection limit for Western blotting. The rate indicates measured band intensity, which was compared with brain samples. Recombinant human PrP is used as expose control. c) Detection limits were compared between concentration (C) and standard (S) method. PK-digested samples directly mixed with sample buffer in standard methods, which loaded to indicating weight. (N.D.: Not detected.) H. Takatsuki et al. / EBioMedicine xxx (2016) xxx–xxx 5


Please cite this article as: Takatsuki, H., et al., Prion-Seeding Activity Is widely Distributed in Tissues of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients, EBioMedicine (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.08.033



Case Report ARTICLE


Front. Neurol., 29 August 2016 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2016.00138


Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease: Analysis of Four Cases


imageAli Al Balushi*, imageMarshall W. Meeks, imageGhazala Hayat and imageJafar Kafaie Department of Neurology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA


Background: Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that almost always results in death in under a year from onset of symptoms. Here, we report four cases of CJD with different clinical presentations diagnosed at our institution over a 2-year period.


Cases: The first patient is an 82-year-old woman who presented with depression, cognitive decline, and word-finding difficulty over 4 weeks. The patient deteriorated neurologically to akinetic mutism and death within 6 weeks of presentation. The second patient is a 54-year-old woman with liver cirrhosis who presented with confusion, ataxia, and multiple falls over 4 weeks. She was treated initially for hepatic encephalopathy but continued to progress to mutism, startle myoclonus, and obtundation. Death occurred within 4 weeks of presentation. The third patient is a 58-year-old woman who presented with an 8-week history of confusion, urinary incontinence, Parkinsonism, ataxia, and myoclonus. Death occurred within 2 months from presentation. The fourth patient is a 67-year-old man who presented with a 6-week history of headache, blurred vision, ataxia, and personality change and progressed to confusion, myoclonus, akinetic mutism, and obtundation. Death occurred within 3 weeks from presentation.


Conclusion: These four cases highlight the varied possible clinical presentations of CJD and demonstrate the importance of considering CJD in patients with atypical presentations of rapidly progressive cognitive decline. To diagnose CJD, brain biopsy remains the gold standard. However, the presence of CSF protein 14-3-3, typical MRI findings and suggestive EEG abnormalities, all support the diagnosis


snip...see full text ;



Oral Session14:45~15:00O-12 Wenquan Zou


*** PrPSc in the skin of CJD patients



Accessing transmissibility and diagnostic marker of skin prions.


Kong, Qingzhong Safar, Jiri G. Zou, Wen-Quan


Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States


Abstract The fatal, transmissible animal and human prion diseases are characterized by the deposition in the brain of a proteinase K (PK)-resistant infectious prion protein (PrPSc), an isoform derived from the cellular protein (PrPC) through misfolding. A definitive antemortem diagnosis is virtually impossible for most patients because of the difficulty in obtaining the brain tissues by biopsy. Recently, PrPSc has been reported to be detected in the skin of experimentally or naturally scrapie-infected animals (Thomzig et al., 2007). Consistent with this finding, we have observed PK-resistant PrP in the skin of a patient with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), an acquired form of human prion disease caused by bovine prion (Notari et al., 2010). Unexpectedly, our latest preliminary study identified two types of PK-resistant PrP molecules [with gel mobility similar to the PrPSc types 1 and 2 from the brain of sporadic CJD (sCJD)] in the fibroblast cells extracted from the skin of clinical sCJD patients and asymptomatic subjects carrying PrP mutations linked to familial CJD (fCJD). We also detected PrPSc in the skin of humanized transgenic (Tg) mice inoculated intracerebrally with a human prion. Moreover, prion infectivity has been observed in the skin of infected greater kudu (Cunningham et al., 2004) and a murine prion inoculated to mice via skin scarification can not only propagate in the skin, but also spread to the brain to cause prion disease (Wathne et al., 2012). We hypothesize that the skin of patients with prion disease harbors prion infectivity and the presence of PK-resistant PrP in the skin is a novel diagnostic marker for preclinical CJD patients. To test the hypotheses, we propose to (1) determine prion infectivity of the skin- derived fibroblasts and skin of sCJD patients and asymptomatic PrP-mutation carriers using humanized Tg mouse bioassay, (2) to pinpoint the earliest stage at which PrPSc becomes detectable in the skin of prion- infected Tg mice, and (3) to detect PrPSc in the skin of various human prion diseases, using conventional as well as highly sensitive RT-QuIC assays for both (2) and (3). If successful, our proposal may not only help prevent potential transmission of human prion diseases but also enable definitive and less intrusive antemortem diagnosis of prion diseases. Finally, knowledge generated from this study may also enhance our understanding of other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.


Public Health Relevance Currently it is unclear whether or not the skin of patients with prion diseases is infectious and, moreover, there is no alternative preclinical definitive testing or the brain biopsy in the prion diseases. The aim of our proposal is to address the issues by detection of the infectivity of patients' skin samples using animal bioassay and a new highly sensitive RT-QuIC assay. We believe that our study will not only provide insights into the pathogenesis and transmissibility of prion disease but also will develop preclinical definitive testing for prion disease.


Funding Agency Agency National Institute of Health (NIH)


Institute National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


Type Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)


Project # 1R21NS096626-01


Application # 9092119


Study Section Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)


Program Officer Wong, May Project Start 2016-02-01


Project End 2018-01-31


Budget Start 2016-02-01


Budget End 2017-01-31


Support Year 1


Fiscal Year 2016


Total Cost


Indirect Cost Institution Name Case Western Reserve University


Department Pathology


Type Schools of Medicine


DUNS # 077758407


City Cleveland


State OH


Country United States


Zip Code 44106




Circulation of prions within dust on a scrapie affected farm


Kevin C Gough1, Claire A Baker2, Hugh A Simmons3, Steve A Hawkins3 and Ben C Maddison2*




Prion diseases are fatal neurological disorders that affect humans and animals. Scrapie of sheep/goats and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) of deer/elk are contagious prion diseases where environmental reservoirs have a direct link to the transmission of disease. Using protein misfolding cyclic amplification we demonstrate that scrapie PrPSc can be detected within circulating dusts that are present on a farm that is naturally contaminated with sheep scrapie. The presence of infectious scrapie within airborne dusts may represent a possible route of infection and illustrates the difficulties that may be associated with the effective decontamination of such scrapie affected premises.






We present biochemical data illustrating the airborne movement of scrapie containing material within a contaminated farm environment. We were able to detect scrapie PrPSc within extracts from dusts collected over a 70 day period, in the absence of any sheep activity. We were also able to detect scrapie PrPSc within dusts collected within pasture at 30 m but not at 60 m distance away from the scrapie contaminated buildings, suggesting that the chance of contamination of pasture by scrapie contaminated dusts decreases with distance from contaminated farm buildings. PrPSc amplification by sPMCA has been shown to correlate with infectivity and amplified products have been shown to be infectious [14,15]. These experiments illustrate the potential for low dose scrapie infectivity to be present within such samples. We estimate low ng levels of scrapie positive brain equivalent were deposited per m2 over 70 days, in a barn previously occupied by sheep affected with scrapie. This movement of dusts and the accumulation of low levels of scrapie infectivity within this environment may in part explain previous observations where despite stringent pen decontamination regimens healthy lambs still became scrapie infected after apparent exposure from their environment alone [16]. The presence of sPMCA seeding activity and by inference, infectious prions within dusts, and their potential for airborne dissemination is highly novel and may have implications for the spread of scrapie within infected premises. The low level circulation and accumulation of scrapie prion containing dust material within the farm environment will likely impede the efficient decontamination of such scrapie contaminated buildings unless all possible reservoirs of dust are removed. Scrapie containing dusts could possibly infect animals during feeding and drinking, and respiratory and conjunctival routes may also be involved. It has been demonstrated that scrapie can be efficiently transmitted via the nasal route in sheep [17], as is also the case for CWD in both murine models and in white tailed deer [18-20].


The sources of dust borne prions are unknown but it seems reasonable to assume that faecal, urine, skin, parturient material and saliva-derived prions may contribute to this mobile environmental reservoir of infectivity. This work highlights a possible transmission route for scrapie within the farm environment, and this is likely to be paralleled in CWD which shows strong similarities with scrapie in terms of prion dissemination and disease transmission. The data indicate that the presence of scrapie prions in dust is likely to make the control of these diseases a considerable challenge.



*** Transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to a chimpanzee by electrodes contaminated during neurosurgery ***


Gibbs CJ Jr, Asher DM, Kobrine A, Amyx HL, Sulima MP, Gajdusek DC. Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Stereotactic multicontact electrodes used to probe the cerebral cortex of a middle aged woman with progressive dementia were previously implicated in the accidental transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) to two younger patients. The diagnoses of CJD have been confirmed for all three cases. More than two years after their last use in humans, after three cleanings and repeated sterilisation in ethanol and formaldehyde vapour, the electrodes were implanted in the cortex of a chimpanzee. Eighteen months later the animal became ill with CJD. This finding serves to re-emphasise the potential danger posed by reuse of instruments contaminated with the agents of spongiform encephalopathies, even after scrupulous attempts to clean them.



Wednesday, September 07, 2016


*** Michigan Launches an investigation into the Detroit Medical Center dirty, broken and missing surgical instruments, what about the CJD TSE PRION iatrogenic threat past and present therefrom? ***



Suspect deer for chronic wasting disease identified in Ingham County


Michigan Department of Natural Resources sent this bulletin at 09/12/2016 01:12 PM EDT


Statewide DNR News


 Sept. 12, 2016


Contact: Chad Stewart, 517-284-4745 or Kelly Straka, 517-336-5040


Suspect deer for chronic wasting disease identified in Ingham County



Tuesday, July 05, 2016


Michigan DNR announces expansion of Chronic Wasting Disease Core Area and Management Zone



Friday, March 18, 2016


Michigan confirms additional CWD-positive free-ranging, white-tailed deer, bringing the total to seven



CWD TSE PRION HUMAN ZOONOSIS POTENTIAL, has it already happened, and being masked as sporadic CJD? and what about iatrogenic, or the pass if forward, friendly fire mode of transmission of cwd to humans, same thing, sporadic cjd ?


*** 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


Ignazio Cali1, Liuting Qing1, Jue Yuan1, Shenghai Huang2, Diane Kofskey1,3, Nicholas Maurer1, Debbie McKenzie4, Jiri Safar1,3,5, Wenquan Zou1,3,5,6, Pierluigi Gambetti1, Qingzhong Kong1,5,6


1Department of Pathology, 3National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, 5Department of Neurology, 6National Center for Regenerative Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


4Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,


2Encore Health Resources, 1331 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010


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.




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.







*** 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).***









Zoonotic Potential of CWD Prions


Liuting Qing1, Ignazio Cali1,2, Jue Yuan1, Shenghai Huang3, Diane Kofskey1, Pierluigi Gambetti1, Wenquan Zou1, Qingzhong Kong1 1Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 2Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy, 3Encore Health Resources, Houston, Texas, USA


*** These results indicate that the CWD prion has the potential to infect human CNS and peripheral lymphoid tissues and that there might be asymptomatic human carriers of CWD infection.




***These results indicate that the CWD prion has the potential to infect human CNS and peripheral lymphoid tissues and that there might be asymptomatic human carriers of CWD infection.***




P.105: RT-QuIC models trans-species prion transmission


Kristen Davenport, Davin Henderson, Candace Mathiason, and Edward Hoover Prion Research Center; Colorado State University; Fort Collins, CO USA


Conversely, FSE maintained sufficient BSE characteristics to more efficiently convert bovine rPrP than feline rPrP. Additionally, human rPrP was competent for conversion by CWD and fCWD.


***This insinuates that, at the level of protein:protein interactions, the barrier preventing transmission of CWD to humans is less robust than previously estimated.




***This insinuates that, at the level of protein:protein interactions, the barrier preventing transmission of CWD to humans is less robust than previously estimated.***







Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE PRION update January 2, 2014


*** chronic wasting disease, there was no absolute barrier to conversion of the human prion protein.


*** Furthermore, the form of human PrPres produced in this in vitro assay when seeded with CWD, resembles that found in the most common human prion disease, namely sCJD of the MM1 subtype.




*** 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).***



*** 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.



Monday, May 02, 2016


*** Zoonotic Potential of CWD Prions: An Update Prion 2016 Tokyo ***






*** PPo3-7: Prion Transmission from Cervids to Humans is Strain-dependent


*** Here we report that a human prion strain that had adopted the cervid prion protein (PrP) sequence through passage in cervidized transgenic mice efficiently infected transgenic mice expressing human PrP,


*** indicating that the species barrier from cervid to humans is prion strain-dependent and humans can be vulnerable to novel cervid prion strains.




Generation of a Novel form of Human PrPSc by Inter-species Transmission of Cervid Prions


*** Our findings suggest that CWD prions have the capability to infect humans, and that this ability depends on CWD strain adaptation, implying that the risk for human health progressively increases with the spread of CWD among cervids.




Biochemical and Biophysical Characterization of Different CWD Isolates


*** The data presented here substantiate and expand previous reports on the existence of different CWD strains.





Pathological Prion Protein (PrPTSE) in Skeletal Muscles of Farmed and Free Ranging White-Tailed Deer Infected with Chronic Wasting Disease


***The presence and seeding activity of PrPTSE in skeletal muscle from CWD-infected cervids suggests prevention of such tissue in the human diet as a precautionary measure for food safety, pending on further clarification of whether CWD may be transmissible to humans.







Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE PRION update January 2, 2014


Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Molecular Barriers to Zoonotic Transmission of Prions


*** chronic wasting disease, there was no absolute barrier to conversion of the human prion protein.


*** Furthermore, the form of human PrPres produced in this in vitro assay when seeded with CWD, resembles that found in the most common human prion disease, namely sCJD of the MM1 subtype.






Pathological Prion Protein (PrPTSE) in Skeletal Muscles of Farmed and Free Ranging White-Tailed Deer Infected with Chronic Wasting Disease


***The presence and seeding activity of PrPTSE in skeletal muscle from CWD-infected cervids suggests prevention of such tissue in the human diet as a precautionary measure for food safety, pending on further clarification of whether CWD may be transmissible to humans.


Yet, it has to be noted that our assessments of PrPTSE levels in skeletal muscles were based on findings in presumably pre- or subclinically infected animals. Therefore, the concentration of PrPTSE in skeletal muscles of WTD with clinically manifest CWD may possibly exceed our estimate which refers to clinically inconspicuous animals that are more likely to enter the human food chain. Our tissue blot findings in skeletal muscles from CWD-infected WTD would be consistent with an anterograde spread of CWD prions via motor nerve fibres to muscle tissue (figure 4A). Similar neural spreading pathways of muscle infection were previously found in hamsters orally challenged with scrapie [28] and suggested by the detection of PrPTSE in muscle fibres and muscle-associated nerve fascicles of clinically-ill non-human primates challenged with BSE prions [29]. Whether the absence of detectable PrPTSE in myofibers observed in our study is a specific feature of CWD in WTD, or was due to a pre- or subclinical stage of infection in the examined animals, remains to be established. In any case, our observations support previous findings suggesting the precautionary prevention of muscle tissue from CWD-infected WTD in the human diet, and highlight the need to comprehensively elucidate of whether CWD may be transmissible to humans. While the understanding of TSEs in cervids has made substantial progress during the past few years, the assessment and management of risks possibly emanating from prions in skeletal muscles of CWD-infected cervids requires further research.




Prions in Skeletal Muscles of Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease Rachel C. Angers1,*, Shawn R. Browning1,*,†, Tanya S. Seward2, Christina J. Sigurdson4,‡, Michael W. Miller5, Edward A. Hoover4, Glenn C. Telling1,2,3,§ + Author Affiliations


1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA. 2 Sanders Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA. 3 Department of Neurology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA. 4 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. 5 Colorado Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA. ↵§ To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gtell2@uky.edu ↵* These authors contributed equally to this work.


↵† Present address: Department of Infectology, Scripps Research Institute, 5353 Parkside Drive, RF-2, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA.


↵‡ Present address: Institute of Neuropathology, University of Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 12, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.


Abstract 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 exposure, it is important to determine whether skeletal muscle of diseased cervids contains prion infectivity. Here bioassays in transgenic mice expressing cervid prion protein revealed the presence of infectious prions in skeletal muscles of CWD-infected deer, demonstrating that humans consuming or handling meat from CWD-infected deer are at risk to prion exposure.



Exotic Meats USA Announces Urgent Statewide Recall of Elk Tenderloin Because It May Contain Meat Derived From An Elk Confirmed To Have Chronic Wasting Disease


Contact: Exotic Meats USA 1-800-680-4375


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- February 9, 2009 -- Exotic Meats USA of San Antonio, TX is initiating a voluntary recall of Elk Tenderloin because it may contain meat derived from an elk confirmed to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The meat with production dates of December 29, 30 and 31, 2008 was purchased from Sierra Meat Company in Reno, NV. The infected elk came from Elk Farm LLC in Pine Island, MN and was among animals slaughtered and processed at USDA facility Noah’s Ark Processors LLC.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal brain and nervous system disease found in elk and deer. The disease is caused by an abnormally shaped protein called a prion, which can damage the brain and nerves of animals in the deer family. Currently, it is believed that the prion responsible for causing CWD in deer and elk is not capable of infecting humans who eat deer or elk contaminated with the prion, but the observation of animal-to-human transmission of other prion-mediated diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), has raised a theoretical concern regarding the transmission of CWD from deer or elk to humans. At the present time, FDA believes the risk of becoming ill from eating CWD-positive elk or deer meat is remote. However, FDA strongly advises consumers to return the product to the place of purchase, rather than disposing of it themselves, due to environmental concerns.


Exotic Meats USA purchased 1 case of Elk Tenderloins weighing 16.9 lbs. The Elk Tenderloin was sold from January 16 – 27, 2009. The Elk Tenderloins was packaged in individual vacuum packs weighing approximately 3 pounds each. A total of six packs of the Elk Tenderloins were sold to the public at the Exotic Meats USA retail store. Consumers who still have the Elk Tenderloins should return the product to Exotic Meats USA at 1003 NE Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78209. Customers with concerns or questions about the Voluntary Elk Recall can call 1-800-680-4375. The safety of our customer has always been and always will be our number one priority.


Exotic Meats USA requests that for those customers who have products with the production dates in question, do not consume or sell them and return them to the point of purchase. Customers should return the product to the vendor. The vendor should return it to the distributor and the distributor should work with the state to decide upon how best to dispose. If the consumer is disposing of the product he/she should consult with the local state EPA office.





COLORADO: Farmer's market meat recalled after testing positive for CWD


24.dec.08 9News.com Jeffrey Wolf


Elk meat that was sold at a farmer's market is being recalled because tests show it was infected with chronic wasting disease. The Boulder County Health Department and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued the recall Wednesday after the meat was sold at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on Dec. 13. Although there isn't any human health risk connected with CWD, the recalled was issued as a precaution. About 15 elk were bought from a commercial ranch in Colorado in early December and processed at a licensed plant. All 15 were tested for CWD and one came up positive. The labeling on the product would have the following information: *Seller: High Wire Ranch *The type of cut: "chuck roast," "arm roast," "flat iron," "ribeye steak," "New York steak," "tenderloin," "sirloin tip roast," "medallions" or "ground meat." *Processor: Cedaredge Processing *The USDA triangle containing the number "34645" People with questions about this meat can contact John Pape, epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 303-692-2628.



COULD NOT FIND any warning or recalls on these two sites confirming their recall of CWD infected meat. ...TSS




Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Presence and Seeding Activity of Pathological Prion Protein (PrPTSE) in Skeletal Muscles of White-Tailed Deer Infected with Chronic Wasting Disease



Prion Infectivity in Fat of Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease


Brent Race,# Kimberly Meade-White,# Richard Race, and Bruce Chesebro* Rocky Mountain Laboratories, 903 South 4th Street, Hamilton, Montana 59840


Received 2 June 2009/ Accepted 24 June 2009




Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative prion disease of cervids. Some animal prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can infect humans; however, human susceptibility to CWD is unknown. In ruminants, prion infectivity is found in central nervous system and lymphoid tissues, with smaller amounts in intestine and muscle. In mice, prion infectivity was recently detected in fat. Since ruminant fat is consumed by humans and fed to animals, we determined infectivity titers in fat from two CWD-infected deer. Deer fat devoid of muscle contained low levels of CWD infectivity and might be a risk factor for prion infection of other species.




The highest risk of human contact with CWD might be through exposure to high-titer CNS tissue through accidental skin cuts or corneal contact at the time of harvest and butchering. However, the likelihood of a human consuming fat infected with a low titer of the CWD agent is much higher. It is impossible to remove all the fat present within muscle tissue, and fat consumption is inevitable when eating meat. Of additional concern is the fact that meat from an individual deer harvested by a hunter is typically consumed over multiple meals by the same group of people. These individuals would thus have multiple exposures to the CWD agent over time, which might increase the chance for transfer of infection.


In the Rocky Mountain region of North America, wild deer are subject to predation by wolves, coyotes, bears, and mountain lions. Although canines such as wolves and coyotes are not known to be susceptible to prion diseases, felines definitely are susceptible to BSE (9) and might also be infected by the CWD agent. Deer infected with the CWD agent are more likely to be killed by predators such as mountain lions (11). Peripheral tissues, including lymph nodes, muscle, and fat, which harbor prion infectivity are more accessible for consumption than CNS tissue, which has the highest level of infectivity late in disease. Therefore, infectivity in these peripheral tissues may be important in potential cross-species CWD transmissions in the wild.


The present finding of CWD infectivity in deer fat tissue raises the possibility that prion infectivity might also be found in fat tissue of other infected ruminants, such as sheep and cattle, whose fat and muscle tissues are more widely distributed in both the human and domestic-animal food chains. Although the infectivity in fat tissues is low compared to that in the CNS, there may be significant differences among species and between prion strains. Two fat samples from BSE agent-infected cattle were reported to be negative by bioassay in nontransgenic RIII mice (3, 6). However, RIII mice are 10,000-fold-less sensitive to BSE agent infection than transgenic mice expressing bovine PrP (4). It would be prudent to carry out additional infectivity assays on fat from BSE agent-infected cattle and scrapie agent-infected sheep using appropriate transgenic mice or homologous species to determine the risk from these sources.





North American Cervids Harbor Two Distinct CWD Strains




Angers, R. Seward, T, Napier, D., Browning, S., Miller, M., Balachandran A., McKenzie, D., Hoover, E., Telling, G. 'University of Kentucky; Colorado Division of Wildlife, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; University Of Wisconsin; Colorado State University.




Despite the increasing geographic distribution and host range of CWD, little is known about the prion strain(s) responsible for distinct outbreaks of the disease. To address this we inoculated CWD-susceptible Tg(CerPrP)1536+/· mice with 29 individual prion samples from various geographic locations in North America. Upon serial passage, intrastudy incubation periods consistently diverged and clustered into two main groups with means around 210 and 290 days, with corresponding differences in neuropathology. Prion strain designations were utilized to distinguish between the two groups: Type I CWD mice succumbed to disease in the 200 day range and displayed a symmetrical pattern of vacuolation and PrPSc deposition, whereas Type II CWD mice succumbed to disease near 300 days and displayed a strikingly different pattern characterized by large local accumulations of florid plaques distributed asymmetrically. Type II CWD bears a striking resemblance to unstable parental scrapie strains such as 87A which give rise to stable, short incubation period strains such as ME7 under certain passage conditions. In agreement, the only groups of CWD-inoculated mice with unwavering incubation periods were those with Type I CWD. Additionally, following endpoint titration of a CWD sample, Type I CWD could be recovered only at the lowest dilution tested (10-1), whereas Type II CWD was detected in mice inoculated with all dilutions resulting in disease. Although strain properties are believed to be encoded in the tertiary structure of the infectious prion protein, we found no biochemical differences between Type I and Type II CWD. Our data confirm the co·existence of two distinct prion strains in CWD-infected cervids and suggest that Type II CWD is the parent strain of Type I CWD.


see page 29, and see other CWD studies ;



Sunday, November 23, 2008


PRION October 8th - 10th 2008 Book of Abstracts





Chad Johnson1, Judd Aiken2,3,4 and Debbie McKenzie4,5 1 Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI, USA 53706 2 Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences, 3 Alberta Veterinary Research Institute, 4.Center for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases, 5 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada T6G 2P5


The identification and characterization of prion strains is increasingly important for the diagnosis and biological definition of these infectious pathogens. Although well-established in scrapie and, more recently, in BSE, comparatively little is known about the possibility of prion strains in chronic wasting disease (CWD), a disease affecting free ranging and captive cervids, primarily in North America. We have identified prion protein variants in the white-tailed deer population and demonstrated that Prnp genotype affects the susceptibility/disease progression of white-tailed deer to CWD agent. The existence of cervid prion protein variants raises the likelihood of distinct CWD strains. Small rodent models are a useful means of identifying prion strains. We intracerebrally inoculated hamsters with brain homogenates and phosphotungstate concentrated preparations from CWD positive hunter-harvested (Wisconsin CWD endemic area) and experimentally infected deer of known Prnp genotypes. These transmission studies resulted in clinical presentation in primary passage of concentrated CWD prions. Subclinical infection was established with the other primary passages based on the detection of PrPCWD in the brains of hamsters and the successful disease transmission upon second passage. Second and third passage data, when compared to transmission studies using different CWD inocula (Raymond et al., 2007) indicate that the CWD agent present in the Wisconsin white-tailed deer population is different than the strain(s) present in elk, mule-deer and white-tailed deer from the western United States endemic region.



snip...see full text here ;


Monday, September 05, 2016


Pathological features of chronic wasting disease in reindeer and demonstration of horizontal transmission Major Findings for Norway




Wednesday, September 7, 2016


An assessment of the long-term persistence of prion infectivity in aquatic environments



Terry S. Singeltary Sr.


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