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From: TSS ()
Subject: Sask. takes aim at rise in chronic wasting disease
Date: November 13, 2007 at 5:24 pm PST

Sask. takes aim at rise in chronic wasting disease

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 | 11:04 AM CT
CBC News

Chronic wasting disease in Saskatchewan wild deer is on the increase, prompting the government to step up efforts to curb its spread.

Saskatchewan Environment is encouraging hunters to kill more deer this year and to turn in the animal heads for testing, said Marv Hlady, a wildlife specialist with the department.

Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in Saskatchewan's wild deer population in 2000.

(Courtesy Julie Huckabay) The fatal "brain wasting" disease affects deer, elk and moose. Since testing began in the province in 1997, 150 deer have tested positive, with 2006 posting the highest number at 47.

This year the province has broadened areas open to hunters and is allowing them to take more deer. In addition, Hlady said the government will test more heads.

"We want to be able to make a good scientific analysis of where the disease is and where it is not," he said.

But wildlife expert Val Geist, professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, dismissed the province's approach as a "desperation" strategy

"I think it's the only thing that's politically feasible because the alternative is to go in and ruthlessly destroy the deer stock and that requires a lot more than legal hunting," said Geist.

Getting rid of game farms and preventing hunters from using bait to attract wildlife may also help slow the spread of the disease, he said.

Although there is no scientific evidence to indicate chronic wasting disease can be passed on to humans, the province recommends people do not eat the meat of any deer that has tested positive.


Monday, November 12, 2007
Species barriers for chronic wasting disease by in vitro conversion of prion protein

Subject: Species barriers for chronic wasting disease by in vitro conversion
of prion protein
Date: November 3, 2007 at 10:57 am PST

Species barriers for chronic wasting disease by in vitro conversion of prion

Li Li a, Michael B. Coulthart b, Aru Balachandran c, Avi Chakrabartty d,
Neil R. Cashman a,*
a Brain Research Centre, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine,
University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health,
UBC Hospital, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 2B5
b Prion Diseases Program, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health
Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Man., Canada R3E 3R2 Q1
c National Reference Laboratory for Scrapie and CWD, Animal Diseases
Research Institute, Canadian Food Inspection Agency,
3851 Fallowfield Road, Nepean, Ont., Canada K2H 8P9
d University Health Network, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of
Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5G 1L7
Received 6 October 2007


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
that can affect North American cervids (deer, elk, and
moose). Using a novel in vitro conversion system based on incubation of
prions with normal brain homogenates, we now report that
PrPCWD of elk can readily induce the conversion of normal cervid PrP (PrPC)
molecules to a protease-resistant form, but is less efficient
in converting the PrPC of other species, such as human, bovine, hamster, and
mouse. However, when substrate brain homogenates are
partially denatured by acidic conditions (pH 3.5), PrPCWD-induced conversion
can be greatly enhanced in all species. Our results dem-
onstrate that PrPC from cervids (including moose) can be efficiently
converted to a protease-resistant form by incubation with elk CWD
prions, presumably due to sequence and structural similarities between these
species. Moreover, partial denaturation of substrate PrPC
can apparently overcome the structural barriers between more distant


Although Syrian hamsters were initially deemed resistant to CWD [19], a
recent publication demonstrates that CWD can be transmitted
and adapted to hamster [20].


Substrate denaturation and human health

We confirm with multiple species that acid/GdnHCl-
treated brain PrPC is a superior substrate for in vitro con-
version than untreated PrPC, possibly by overcoming con-
formational barriers in partial denaturation of substrate
PrPC. PrP conversion in scrapie-infected neuroblastoma
cells is believed to occur in endosomes, a low-pH and
reducing environment [26]. The non-ruminant stomach
possesses a low pH lumen, and PrPC is expressed in this
organ [27]. Such acidic (denaturing) organ or cellular
organellar environments might also promote CWD trans-
mission to non-cervid species, including humans.


This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (Institute of Infection and Immunity, Safe
Food and Water program) and PrioNet Canada.

[20] G.J. Raymond, L.D. Raymond, K.D. Meade-White, A.G. Hughson,
C. Favara, D. Gardner, E.S. Williams, M.W. Miller, R.E. Race, B.
Caughey, Transmission and adaptation of chronic wasting disease to
hamsters and transgenic mice: evidence for strains, J. Virol. 81 (2007)

2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article in press as: L. Li et al., Species barriers for
chronic wasting disease by in vitro...,
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2007), doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.10.087

(Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disease, a human prion disease) despite several
epidemiological investigations, suggest the risk, if any, of transmission of
CWD to humans is low.” <<<

WHAT Dr. Ermias Belay really said was ;

"we found no _strong_ evidence of CWD transmission to humans"

Re: Colorado Surveillance Program for Chronic Wasting Disease
Transmission to Humans (TWO SUSPECT CASES)


From: TSS (
Date: September 30, 2002 at 7:06 am PST

From: "Belay, Ermias"
Cc: "Race, Richard (NIH)" ; ; "Belay,
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 9:22 AM

Dear Sir/Madam,

In the Archives of Neurology you quoted (the abstract of which was
attached to your email), we did not say CWD in humans will present like
variant CJD.

That assumption would be wrong. I encourage you to read the whole
article and call me if you have questions or need more clarification
(phone: 404-639-3091). Also, we do not claim that "no-one has ever been
infected with prion disease from eating venison." Our conclusion stating
that we found no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans in the
article you quoted or in any other forum is limited to the patients we

Ermias Belay, M.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 10:15 AM
> > To:;; ebb8@CDC.GOV

Sunday, November 10, 2002 6:26 PM ......snip........end..............TSS


From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Subject: CWD UPDATE 88 AUGUST 31, 2007

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 21:13:08 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Subject: CWD NEW MEXICO RECORDS IT'S 19 CASE (near Texas border again)

Subject: Monitoring the Potential Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease to
Humans Using a Hunter Registry Database in Wyoming
Date: August 30, 2007 at 6:46 pm PST

PLEASE NOTE IN USA CJD UPDATE AS AT JUNE 2007, please note steady increase

1 Acquired in the United Kingdom; 2 Acquired in Saudi Arabia; 3 Includes 17
inconclusive and 9 pending (1 from 2006, 8
from 2007); 4 Includes 17 non-vCJD type unknown (2 from 1996, 2 from 1997, 1
from 2001, 1 from 2003, 4 from 2004, 3
from 2005, 4 from 2006) and 36 type pending (2 from 2005, 8 from 2006,

*** 26 from 2007)


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