The results to date show that 14 cynomolgus macaques exposed orally or intracerebrally to CWD remain healthy and symptom free after more than six years of observation, though the direct relevance to people is not definitive and remains under study.
Cynomolgus macaques often are used as research models of human disease because they are very close genetically to humans and are susceptible to several forms of human brain-damaging disease. Thus, it was decided to see whether exposure to CWD could induce disease in the macaques. The study appears online in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
CWD is a type of brain-damaging disease known as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease. CWD primarily affects deer, elk, and moose. Other TSE diseases include mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, scrapie in sheep, and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. Humans are not susceptible to sheep scrapie, but BSE appears to have infected about 200 people, primarily in Europe in the 1990s. Those findings provided the rationale for the present CWD-macaque study, which began in 2003.
"We plan to continue this study for at least several more years because, although the risk to macaques so far appears to be low, we know that these diseases can take more than 10 years to develop," says Bruce Chesebro, M.D., chief of the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Mont. RML is part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The RML group is leading the study with collaborators from the Colorado Division of Wildlife; State University of New York Downstate Medical Center; New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities; American Red Cross; and the University of Wyoming.
The findings by the RML group support published field studies done by others in regions of Colorado and Wyoming where CWD is endemic. Between 1979 and 2001, there were no significant increases in human TSE diseases despite the likelihood that hunters in those areas were exposed to CWD through contact with infected animal tissue and contaminated hunting tools such as knives and saws. Extensive laboratory data also supports a human species barrier against CWD.
Notably, the RML study also included identical testing in squirrel monkeys, which are genetically less similar to humans than macaques. Of 15 squirrel monkeys exposed orally to CWD, two displayed disease symptoms 69 months after infection. Of 13 squirrel monkeys exposed intracerebrally to CWD, 11 displayed symptoms between 33 and 53 months after infection. In symptomatic animals, the presence of the CWD agent was confirmed in brain, spleen and lymph nodes.
The results in squirrel monkeys were not surprising because a study elsewhere in two squirrel monkeys yielded similar results. The study by the RML group was different, however, in that it tested oral exposure to CWD and also studied eight CWD samples from different areas of the country. The results in squirrel monkeys confirmed that disease progression in that species appears consistent with disease progression in deer and elk, where severe weight loss is nearly always present.
"The fact that the squirrel monkeys, like the deer and elk, suffered severe weight loss suggests that chronic wasting disease might affect a common region of the brain in different species," notes Dr. Chesebro.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.
Reference: Race B et al. Susceptibilities of nonhuman primates to chronic wasting disease. Emerging Infectious Diseases. DOI: 10.3201/eid1509.090253.
Ken Pekoc | EurekAlert!
Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences