Chronci Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Abbreviation: CWD. Alternative Name: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects mainly animals. CWD is a prion disease (belong to group of progressive conditions that affect the nervous system in humans and animals). Chronic wasting disease affects North American cervids (A ruminant mammal with antlers and hooves of the family Cervidae, or one of several similar animals from related families of the order Artiodactyla e.g. hoofed ruminant mammals, with males characteristically having antlers). The known natural hosts of CWD are mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose.Chronic wasting disease It was recognized as a spongiform encephalopathy in 1978. To date, no strong evidence of Chronic wasting disease transmission to humans has been reported, but we must exercise caution since there is some evidence to suggest that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or “mad cow disease”, can affect humans. The incubation period is not exactly known. Deer experimentally infected with Chronic wasting disease signs of clinical disease > 15 months later. The estimated minimum incubation period for natural infections with CWD is 17 months. Maximum incubation period is not known. The exact cause of Chronic wasting disease is not known at this time but most disease experts believe that it is a prion disease. A prion is a mutated protein that causes other normal proteins to mutate and no longer function in a normal fashion. Prions differ from many disease agents such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses in that they do not contain any genetic material and are extremely resistant to breakdown by disinfectants or environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold. The origin and life cycle of these prions are the target of ongoing research aimed at ultimately developing a management plan to eliminate, or at least contain, the existence of these prions in both wild and captive herds, as well as in the environment. It is believed that this is mainly caused by an accumulation of abnormal protease-resistant prion form (PrPres) of cellular prion protein (PrPc) normally synthesized the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoid tissue. On entering a susceptible host PrPres promotes production of species-specific PrPres from PrPc in lymphoid or CNS tissues. Chronic wasting disease can be highly transmissible within deer and elk populations. The mode of transmission is not fully understood, but evidence supports the possibility that the disease is spread through direct animal-to-animal contact or as a result of indirect exposure to prions in the environment. Symptoms: Signs observed in animals with Chronic wasting disease include: Emaciation (loss of body weight and body condition).
  • Abnormal behavior or indifference to human activity.
  • Increased salivation or drooling.
  • Tremors.
  • Stumbling, lack of coordination.
  • Difficulty or inefficiency in chewing or swallowing.
  • Increased drinking and urination.
  • Paralysis.
Diagnosis: The disease is tentatively diagnosed based on clinical signs, and is confirmed by isolating abnormal prion proteins during postmortem examination of the brain stem or from samples of lymphoid tissue from the affected animal. Current research, however, suggests that biopsies of retropharyngeal tonsils could be used to determine the presence of prion proteins in live animals, but this is not approved for the widespread use. Treatment: There is no known treatment for animals that suffer from Chronic wasting disease. Preventive Measures may include: To minimize their risk of exposure to CWD, hunters should consult with their state wildlife agencies to identify areas where CWD occurs and take appropriate precautions when hunting in such areas.
  • Hunters who harvest deer or elk from known CWD-positive areas may wish to consider having the animal tested for CWD before consuming the meat.
  • Persons involved in field-dressing carcasses should wear gloves, bone-out the meat from the animal, and minimize handling of the brain and spinal cord tissues.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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