Submitted to: Journal of Comparative Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2005
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Citation: Hamir, A.N., Kunkle, R.A., Miller, J.M., Greenlee, J.J., Richt, J.A. 2006. Experimental second passage of chronic wasting disease (CWD(mule deer)) agent to cattle. Journal of Comparative Pathology. 134(1):63-69. Interpretive Summary: To compare the findings of experimental first and second passage of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cattle, 6 calves were inoculated into the brain with CWD-mule deer agent previously (first) passaged in cattle. Two other uninoculated calves served as controls. Beginning 10-12 months post inoculation (PI), all inoculates lost appetite and weight. Five animals subsequently developed clinical signs of central nervous system (CNS) abnormality. By 16.5 months PI, all cattle had been euthanized because of poor prognosis. None of the animals showed microscopic lesions of spongiform encephalopathy (SE) but the CWD agent was detected in their CNS tissues by 2 laboratory techniques (IHC and WB). These findings demonstrate that inoculated cattle amplify CWD agent but also develop clinical CNS signs without manifestation of microscopic lesions of SE. This situation has also been shown to occur following inoculation of cattle with another TSE agent, namely, sheep scrapie. The current study confirms previous work that indicates that the diagnostic tests currently used for confirmation of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. would detect CWD in cattle, should it occur naturally. Furthermore, it raises the possibility of distinguishing CWD from BSE in cattle due to the absence of microscopic lesions and a unique multifocal distribution of PrPres, as demonstrated by IHC, which in this study, appears to be more sensitive than the WB.