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From: TSS ()
Date: April 4, 2005 at 1:43 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 15:27:01 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Officials: Diseased deer served at Verona gathering
April 4, 2005
updated 11:22 a.m.


VERONA - The white-tailed deer recently diagnosed with chronic wasting
disease was one of the deer donated to the Verona Fire Department and
served at its Annual Sportsmen's Feast on Sunday, March 13, an Oneida
County Health Department spokesman said today.

People who consumed the venison need not worry about contracting the
disease, spokesman Ken Fanelli said.

"There's no indication whatsoever that the disease has been linked to
human illness of any kind," Fanelli.

The deer was donated before the health department knew it had the
disease, according to the health department.

Nonetheless, the health department wants anyone who attended the event
on March 13 and who may have eaten the venison to contact 798-5064. Or
call the New York State Health Department's toll-free information line
at (800) 808-1987.

"We want to discuss the issue with them and to reassure them," he said.

Chronic Wasting Disease and Potential Transmission to Humans

Ermias D. Belay,*Comments
Ryan A.
Maddox,* Elizabeth S. Williams, Michael W. Miller,! Pierluigi
Gambetti,§ and Lawrence B. Schonberger*
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA; !Colorado Division of
Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; and §Case Western Reserve
University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Suggested citation for this article: Belay ED, Maddox RA, Williams
ES, Miller MW, Gambetti P, Schonberger LB. Chronic wasting disease
and potential transmission to humans. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on
the Internet]. 2004 Jun [date cited]. Available from:


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk is endemic in a
tri-corner area of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, and new foci of
CWD have been detected in other parts of the United States. Although
detection in some areas may be related to increased surveillance,
introduction of CWD due to translocation or natural migration of
animals may account for some new foci of infection. Increasing
spread of CWD has raised concerns about the potential for increasing
human exposure to the CWD agent. The foodborne transmission of
bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans indicates that the
species barrier may not completely protect humans from animal prion
diseases. Conversion of human prion protein by CWD-associated prions
has been demonstrated in an in vitro cell-free experiment, but
limited investigations have not identified strong evidence for CWD
transmission to humans. More epidemiologic and laboratory studies
are needed to monitor the possibility of such transmissions. ...


in the lab...


######### ##########

1: J Infect Dis 1980 Aug;142(2):205-8

Oral transmission of kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and scrapie to
nonhuman primates.

Gibbs CJ Jr, Amyx HL, Bacote A, Masters CL, Gajdusek DC.

Kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and scrapie disease of
sheep and goats were transmitted to squirrel monkeys (Saimiri
sciureus) that were exposed to the infectious agents only by their
nonforced consumption of known infectious tissues. The asymptomatic
incubation period in the one monkey exposed to the virus of kuru was
36 months; that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was 23 and 27 months, respectively; and
that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of scrapie was 25 and
32 months, respectively. Careful physical examination of the buccal
cavities of all of the monkeys failed to reveal signs or oral
lesions. One additional monkey similarly exposed to kuru has
remained asymptomatic during the 39 months that it has been under

PMID: 6997404

Volume 3, Number 8 01 August 2003
Tracking spongiform encephalopathies in North America

Xavier Bosch

My name is Terry S Singeltary Sr, and I live in Bacliff, Texas. I lost
my mom to hvCJD (Heidenhain variant CJD) and have been searching for
answers ever since. What I have found is that we have not been told the
truth. CWD in deer and elk is a small portion of a much bigger problem.

49-year-old Singeltary is one of a number of people who have remained
largely unsatisfied after being told that a close relative died from a
rapidly progressive dementia compatible with spontaneous
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). So he decided to gather hundreds of
documents on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and
realised that if Britons could get variant CJD from bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE), Americans might get a similar disorder from
chronic wasting disease (CWD)the relative of mad cow disease seen among
deer and elk in the USA. Although his feverish search did not lead him
to the smoking gun linking CWD to a similar disease in North American
people, it did uncover a largely disappointing situation.

Singeltary was greatly demoralised at the few attempts to monitor the
occurrence of CJD and CWD in the USA. Only a few states have made CJD
reportable. Human and animal TSEs should be reportable nationwide and
internationally, he complained in a letter to the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA 2003; 285: 733). I hope that the CDC
does not continue to expect us to still believe that the 85% plus of all
CJD cases which are sporadic are all spontaneous, without route or source.

Until recently, CWD was thought to be confined to the wild in a small
region in Colorado. But since early 2002, it has been reported in other
areas, including Wisconsin, South Dakota, and the Canadian province of
Saskatchewan. Indeed, the occurrence of CWD in states that were not
endemic previously increased concern about a widespread outbreak and
possible transmission to people and cattle.

To date, experimental studies have proven that the CWD agent can be
transmitted to cattle by intracerebral inoculation and that it can cross
the mucous membranes of the digestive tract to initiate infection in
lymphoid tissue before invasion of the central nervous system. Yet the
plausibility of CWD spreading to people has remained elusive.

Part of the problem seems to stem from the US surveillance system. CJD
is only reported in those areas known to be endemic foci of CWD.
Moreover, US authorities have been criticised for not having performed
enough prionic tests in farm deer and elk.

Although in November last year the US Food and Drug Administration
issued a directive to state public-health and agriculture officials
prohibiting material from CWD-positive animals from being used as an
ingredient in feed for any animal species, epidemiological control and
research in the USA has been quite different from the situation in the
UK and Europe regarding BSE.

Getting data on TSEs in the USA from the government is like pulling
teeth, Singeltary argues. You get it when they want you to have it,
and only what they want you to have.

Norman Foster, director of the Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA), says that current
surveillance of prion disease in people in the USA is inadequate to
detect whether CWD is occurring in human beings; adding that, the
cases that we know about are reassuring, because they do not suggest the
appearance of a new variant of CJD in the USA or atypical features in
patients that might be exposed to CWD. However, until we establish a
system that identifies and analyses a high proportion of suspected prion
disease cases we will not know for sure. The USA should develop a
system modelled on that established in the UK, he points out.

Ali Samii, a neurologist at Seattle VA Medical Center who recently
reported the cases of three hunters two of whom were friends who died
from pathologically confirmed CJD, says that at present there are
insufficient data to claim transmission of CWD into humans; adding that
[only] by asking [the questions of venison consumption and deer/elk
hunting] in every case can we collect suspect cases and look into the
plausibility of transmission further. Samii argues that by making both
doctors and hunters more aware of the possibility of prions spreading
through eating venison, doctors treating hunters with dementia can
consider a possible prion disease, and doctors treating CJD patients
will know to ask whether they ate venison.

CDC spokesman Ermias Belay says that the CDC will not be investigating
the [Samii] cases because there is no evidence that the men ate
CWD-infected meat. He notes that although the likelihood of CWD
jumping the species barrier to infect humans cannot be ruled out 100%
and that [we] cannot be 100% sure that CWD does not exist in humans&
the data seeking evidence of CWD transmission to humans have been very

SEAC Statement
18th January 2005
Position statement - Chronic wasting disease in UK deer


1. The Food Standards Agency asked SEAC to consider the possible public and animal health implications of chronic wasting disease (CWD), in particular the level of risk posed to consumers of meat from infected animals. The committee also considered the possibility that BSE may be present in UK deer.


2. CWD has emerged as an endemic transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) in certain captive and free-ranging species of cervid (deer) in some areas of North America. The disease is characterised by weight loss and behavioural changes in infected animals, usually over a period of weeks or months leading to death. CWD has not been found in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. No definitive or suspected cases of transmission of CWD to humans have been reported.

3. SEAC considered a review of the published, and some unpublished, research on CWD, together with surveillance data on TSEs in European cervids and information on UK cervid populations (1).


4. The origins of CWD are unknown. On the basis of epidemiological data, it is highly improbable that CWD originated from the recycling of mammalian protein in processed feed. It has been suggested that CWD may have arisen from transmission and adaptation of scrapie from sheep to cervids, as a result of a spontaneous change of endogenous prion protein (PrP) to an abnormal disease-associated form, or from an unknown source.

5. Data supporting any of these possible origins of CWD are either absent or equivocal. Although CWD could have originated from scrapie, the differing properties of the two prion diseases in strain typing bioassays, whilst limited, do not support this hypothesis. Evidence for multiple strains of CWD is equivocal. It seems most likely that CWD arose from a spontaneous change of endogenous PrP resulting in a disease-associated and laterally-transmissible form of PrP, although direct data to support this hypothesis are lacking.

Host range

6. The known natural hosts for CWD are mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). The prevalence and geographical distribution of CWD in these species appears to be increasing in North America in a manner which is unlikely to be due simply to increased surveillance.

7. There are no direct data relating to the transmissibility of CWD to UK cervid species. However, comparison of a limited number of PrP codons indicates some homology in the endogenous PrP gene of European and North American cervid species. Thus, the possibility that UK cervids may be susceptible to CWD cannot be excluded, in particular red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus) which are closely related to elk.

8. There is no evidence to suggest that CWD is present in UK cervids. However, because surveillance in the UK is very limited, a low level prevalence of CWD cannot be ruled out. The committee endorsed the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority on CWD surveillance in the European Union (2004) .

9. Transmission studies using parenteral routes of administration to cattle, sheep and a single goat, together with data from in vitro PrP conversion experiments, suggest that a significant barrier to CWD transmission to these species may exist. No transmission has been evident so far in an on-going oral transmission study in cattle after six years. Furthermore, no signs of infection have been observed from monitoring of cattle co-habiting areas with infected cervids, or in cattle, sheep or goats in close contact with infected cervids in research facilities. Thus, although the data are limited, there is currently no evidence to suggest that CWD can be transmitted naturally to cows, sheep or goats, and it is likely that there is a strong species barrier to such transmission.

Routes of transmission

10. Epidemiological data indicate that lateral transmission between infected and susceptible cervids occurring naturally is sufficiently effective to maintain epidemics in both captive and free-living populations. There is good evidence from studies of cervids inhabiting paddocks previously inhabited by infected animals or contaminated with infected carcases, that CWD can be transmitted laterally between animals via the environment. The precise mechanism of transmission is unclear. It is possible that the infectious agent is shed in the saliva, faeces or urine or as a result of decomposition of infected carcases and transferred to other cervids grazing the contaminated areas. It is also possible that some maternal transmission occurs.

11. There have also been suggestions that the lateral transmission of CWD may be influenced by environmental factors.


12. Information on the pathogenesis of CWD is limited. The data show that, following oral challenge, PrPCWD is first detected in the oral and gut-associated lymphoid tissues before spreading more widely within the lymphoid system and then to the brain. Involvement of the retropharyngeal lymph nodes or tonsils in the pathogenesis may not occur in some elk. At the microscopic level, the nature and distribution of the tissue lesions are similar to those found for scrapie. The available data suggest the pathogenesis of CWD is similar to scrapie.

BSE in UK deer

13. Both captive and free-ranging cervids in the UK may have been exposed to contaminated feed prior to the reinforced mammalian meat and bone meal ban instituted in 1996. A study to look at the potential susceptibility of red deer to BSE has shown no signs of transmission of the disease by the oral route, but it is at a very preliminary stage. Although a theoretical possibility exists, there is no evidence from the very limited surveillance data to suggest that BSE is present in the UK cervid population.

Human health implications

14. Epidemiological data on possible CWD infection of humans are very limited. The possibility that clinical symptoms of CWD in humans differ from those of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) cannot be excluded. There is no significant difference between the prevalence of CJD in CWD endemic areas and other areas of the world. However, because CJD surveillance in the USA is relatively recent, not all CJD cases may have been identified. Additionally, detection of a small increase in prevalence of such a rare disease is very difficult. Investigation of six cases of prion disease in young people (< 30 years of age) in the USA found no definite causal link with consumption of venison from known CWD endemic areas. The disease characteristics in these cases were indistinguishable from sporadic CJD or Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome. Likewise, in a study of three hunters (> 54 years of age) diagnosed with sporadic CJD, no link with consumption of venison from CWD endemic areas was found. No causal link was found in an investigation of three men with neurological illnesses who were known to partake in “wild game feasts”. Only one of these subjects was found to have a prion disease and this was also indistinguishable from sporadic CJD.

15. Preliminary results from transmission experiments in transgenic mice expressing human PrP suggest the presence of a significant species barrier to transmission of CWD to humans. However, these findings must be interpreted with caution as they may not accurately predict the human situation. Data from in vitro experiments on conversion of human PrP by disease-associated forms of PrP, including PrPCWD, are equivocal.

16. The committee concluded there is no evidence of transmission of CWD to humans from consumption of venison, and that there may be significant barriers to transmission. Nevertheless, as the data are extremely limited a risk cannot be ruled out should CWD enter UK herds.


17. There is no evidence that CWD (or BSE) is present in the UK cervid population. However, because only limited surveillance is conducted in the cervid population, a low level prevalence of CWD cannot be ruled out. It is recommended that further surveillance of TSEs in UK cervids is conducted.

18. There is no evidence of transmission of CWD to humans from consumption of meat from infected cervids. Although epidemiological and experimental data on potential transmission of CWD are extremely limited, they suggest that there may be a significant species barrier. It would be helpful if further studies were available assessing the potential species barrier for transmission to humans.

19. Although limited, there is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to cattle, sheep or goats by natural means.

20. In summary, it appears that CWD currently poses relatively little risk to human health, or to the health of cattle, sheep or goats in the UK. Nevertheless, as a risk cannot be excluded a watching brief should be maintained.

January 2005


Chronic Wasting Disease in UK deer

Alan Harvey (FSA).Wildlife Information Network.


Annex 1 (pdf)

Annex 2 (pdf):

Annex 3 (incl. appendices) (pdf)

Annex 4 (pdf)

Annex 5 (pdf):

ALL of these false reassurances we have heard time and time again, and ALL have been proven wrong.

AS with the BSE TO HUMANS AND BSE to GOAT. IT was always it never happend under natural conditions, just in the lab, so not to worry. NOW WE HAVE TO WORRY;


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