Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Experimental Second Passage of Chronic Wasting Disease (Cwd(mule Deer)) Agent to Cattle

Authors
item Hamir, Amirali
item Kunkle, Robert
item Miller, Janice - ARS RETIRED
item Greenlee, Justin
item Richt, Juergen

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.

Technical Abstract: To compare clinicopathological findings of first and second passage of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cattle, a group of calves (n=6) were intracerebrally inoculated 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 lost 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 PrPres was detected in their CNS tissues by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blot (WB) techniques. These findings demonstrate that intracerebrally inoculated cattle not only amplify CWD PrPres but also develop clinical CNS signs without manifestation of morphologic lesions of SE. This situation has also been shown to occur following inoculation of cattle with another TSE agent, scrapie. The current study confirms previous work that indicates the diagnostic techniques 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 neuropathologic lesions and a unique multifocal distribution of PrPres, as demonstrated by IHC, which in this study, appears to be more sensitive than the WB.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page