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Epidemiology of Chronic Wasting Disease: PrPres Detection, Shedding and Environmental Contamination

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Annual rept. 1 Aug 2004-31 Jul 2005

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Chronic wasting disease CWD of deer and elk is unique among the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Our long-term goal is to better understand the epidemiology of CWD and thus develop strategies for management and control. The specific goals of these studies are to develop sensitive assays for PrPexp res as a marker for infectivity, and use these techniques to monitor the dynamics and modes of shedding of PrPexp res from orally infected mule and white-tailed deer and elk. Finally these techniques will be applied to investigating the nature of environmental contamination that may be associated with CND transmission. Protease resistant prion protein from brains of CWD affected deer and elk PrPexp res and cellular PrPexp c were purified and used in a variety of detection assays. PrPexp res was detected using antibody based techniques but not, as of yet, by potentially more sensitive detection methods. Deer and elk have been obtained and the infrastructure is in place to begin the studies of CWD shedding in vivo. In addition, in support of investigations of environmental contamination by the CWD agent, we have mapped areas of high, moderate, and low CWD contamination at two CWD endemic facilities.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

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