Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly contagious always fatal neurodegenerative disease that is currently known to naturally infect only species of the deer family, Cervidae. CWD epidemics are occurring in free-ranging cervids at several locations in North America, and other wildlife species are certainly being exposed to infectious material. To assess the potential for transmission, we intracerebrally inoculated four species of epidemic-sympatric rodents with CWD. Transmission was efficient in all species; the onset of disease was faster in the two vole species than the two Peromyscus spp. The results for inocula prepared from CWD-positive deer with or without CWD-resistant genotypes were similar. Survival times were substantially shortened upon second passage, demonstrating adaptation. Unlike all other known prion protein sequences for cricetid rodents that possess asparagine at position 170, our red-backed voles expressed serine and refute previous suggestions that a serine in this position substantially reduces susceptibility to CWD. Given the scavenging habits of these rodent species, the apparent persistence of CWD prions in the environment, and the inevitable exposure of these rodents to CWD prions, our intracerebral challenge results indicate that further investigation of the possibility of natural transmission is warranted. Copyright ?? 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
|Title||Chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility of several North American rodents that are sympatric with cervid CWD epidemics|
|Authors||D.M. Heisey, N.A. Mickelsen, J.R. Schneider, C.J. Johnson, J.A. Langenberg, P.N. Bochsler, D.P. Keane, D.J. Barr|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Virology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|