Webinar - The Zoonotic Potential of Chronic Wasting Disease

Sabine Gilch
Resource Date:

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease that affects wild and farmed cervids. It is spreading across North America at increasing rates, with cases detected in 31 US states and 4 Canadian provinces. 

CWD is, similar to BSE (“mad cow disease”) or human diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, caused by prions, unconventional infectious agents that only consist of protein. BSE was transmitted to humans, and since infectious prions in CWD-affected cervids are detectable in many tissues including skeletal muscle and antler velvet, there are valid concerns about the ability of CWD prions to infect humans. 

This presentation will summarize the current knowledge about CWD zoonotic potential, and discuss our recently published study demonstrating that CWD prions from deer can cause an atypical prion disease with fecal shedding in ‘humanized’ transgenic mice.