Researchers at Binghamton University have a first-ever opportunity to determine if Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer can be spread to humans who ingest "infected" meat.
Ralph M. Garruto, professor of biomedical anthropology at Binghamton University, State University of New York, is heading up a study to monitor the health implications of a group of people who are known to have consumed venison infected with CWD. Recently discovered in both wild and captive deer herds in New York, CWD is similar to mad cow disease in that it concentrates in the spinal cord and brain, and is caused by a virtually indestructible mutated protein called a prion.
"We dont know if CWD can be transmitted to humans," said Garruto. "So this group, some of whom we know for sure ate infected meat, offers us a unique opportunity. Im hoping the study will allow us to determine if this disease can affect humans in the same way mad cow disease has been shown to cause neurological disease in those who consume infected beef."
Gail Glover | EurekAlert!
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