Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First ever study to investigate impact of chronic wasting disease on humans

23.11.2005


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 don’t 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. I’m 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."


The study focuses on a group of people who attended a Sportman’s feast in Verona, NY, earlier this year. It is known that at least some of the attendees, all of whom were offered a variety of entree choices, consumed venison from a deer infected with CWD. Upon hearing of the dinner, Garruto approached the Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) to determine if they would assist in a scientific examination of the people who ate the meat.

"Although not everyone involved is particularly concerned or fearful, it is important for us to protect the health of all county residents,’ said Ken Fanelli, OCHD representative. "Professor Garruto’s study is a proactive response to determining what, if any, will be the long-term health effects, which is one of our most important responsibilities."

Over 50 individuals have already indicated their interest in being part of the study that will involve an initial interview and completion of a questionnaire to help assess risk, including the role played by individuals at the dinner, what they ate, their place of residence, occupation, medical history and other activities. The study will monitor the health of the participants over a period of six years. No invasive testing will be performed and identities will be kept strictly confidential.

"The people who take part in this project can be assured that every measure will be taken to ensure their privacy,’ said Garruto. "Their contribution is vital to the success of this ’first of its kind’ research that may hold world-wide significance in the study of CWD and similar prion diseases."

CWD was first discovered in Colorado in 1967 and has since been documented in several Rocky Mountain and Midwest states. This year, New York State became the first state west of the Mississippi to report CWD in both privately owned and wild deer herds found in parts of Oneida County. Most recently in September, West Virginia reported its first cases of the disease. How the disease is spread from deer-to-deer and how it may impact the environment in which infected animals graze is unclear.

"We’re looking at an issue that could have multiple impacts,’ said Garruto. "Human health and keeping the food supply safe is of primary concern. But we also have to monitor how to keep this epidemic from spreading among deer and across species, from deer to cattle, both of which could have huge economic as well as health implications."

Garruto notes that although a prion disease appears to be transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact and/or indirect exposure, including contaminated water, soil and brouze by saliva, urine, and feces, it is still unclear as to how it’s transmitted.

"CWD demands a lot more attention than it’s been getting," says Garruto. "Too little research has been done so far to be sure humans can’t contract the disease and we do not know if transmission from deer to cattle who share the same grazing land is possible. This is an important missing link as cow to human cross-species transmission does take place, evidenced by the mad cow and variant Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease epidemics in Europe. This study will give us some solid conclusions and allow us determine how to manage the risks."

Gail Glover | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.binghamton.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

nachricht Pan-European study on “Smart Engineering”
30.03.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>