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From: TSS ()
Subject: Transmission and adaptation of chronic wasting disease to hamsters and transgenic mice: evidence for strains
Date: February 8, 2007 at 8:33 am PST

J. Virol. doi:10.1128/JVI.02474-06
Copyright (c) 2007, American Society for Microbiology and/or the Listed Authors/Institutions. All Rights Reserved.

Transmission and adaptation of chronic wasting disease to hamsters and transgenic mice: evidence for strains
Gregory J. Raymond, Lynne D. Raymond, Kimberly D. Meade-White, Andrew G. Hughson, Cynthia Favara, Donald Gardner, Elizabeth S. Williams, Michael W. Miller, Richard E. Race*, and Byron Caughey*
Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, and Rocky Mountain Veterinary Branch, NIAID, NIH, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59840; Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070; Colorado Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO 80526-2097

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: . .


In vitro screening using the cell-free prion protein conversion system indicated that certain rodents may be susceptible to chronic wasting disease (CWD). Therefore, CWD isolates from mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk were inoculated intracerebrally into various rodent species to assess their susceptibility and to develop new rodent models of CWD. The species inoculated were Syrian golden, Djungarian, Chinese, Siberian, and Armenian hamsters; transgenic mice expressing the Syrian golden hamster prion protein; and, RML Swiss and C57 BL10 wild-type mice. The transgenic mice and the Syrian golden, Chinese, Siberian and Armenian hamsters had limited susceptibility to certain of the CWD inocula as evidenced by incomplete attack rates and long incubation periods. With serial passages of CWD isolates in Syrian golden hamsters, incubation periods rapidly stabilized as isolates with either short (85-89 days) or long (408-544 days) mean incubation periods and distinct neuropathological patterns. In contrast, wild-type mouse strains and Djungarian hamsters were not susceptible to CWD. These results show that CWD can be transmitted and adapted to some species of rodents and suggest that the cervid-derived CWD inocula may have contained, or diverged into, at least two distinct transmissible spongiform encephalopathy strains.


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