Submitted to: Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2002
Publication Date: 9/20/2002
Citation: Spraker, T.R., Zink, R.R., Cummings, B.A., Sigurdson, C.J., Miller, M.W., O'Rourke, K.I. Distribution of protease-resistant prion protein and spongiform encephalopathy in free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) with chronic wasting disease. Veterinary Pathology. 2002. v. 39. p. 546-556.
Interpretive Summary: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disorder of deer and elk. The disease is diagnosed by detection of a marker protein, PrP-res. This marker protein accumulates in the brain and lymphoid tissues of deer but the precise anatomic location of the marker in early disease was not known. In this study, various areas of the brain and a number of lymphoid tissues were examined with a previously described highly specific and sensitive test. The study demonstrated that the area of the brain identified as the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus was the most reliable site to examine. Lymph nodes in many parts of the body contained the marker protein. In some animals, the marker was found in the lymphoid tissues and not the brain, suggesting that examination of the lymphoid tissues is preferred for diagnosing CWD in deer early in disease.
Technical Abstract: Sections of brain and palatine tonsil were examined for PrP-res, the marker for chronic wasting disease. On the basis of the location and abundance of IHC and the location and severity of SE, deer were placed into four categories. The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMNV) appears to be the most consistent site of detectable PrP-res. The tonsil and retropharyngeal lymph nodes are early indicators of disease. This study supports the current surveillance and diagnostic programs based on testing DMNV and one or more lymphoid tissues.