Submitted to: European Society of Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2006
Publication Date: 8/31/2006
Citation: Hamir, A., Kunkle, R., Cutlip, R., Miller, J., Williams, E., Richt, J. 2006. Transmission of chronic wasting disease agent of mule deer (CWD**md) to Suffolk sheep by intracerebral route [abstract]. European Society of Veterinary Pathology 24th Annual Meeting. Paper No. P63. p. 171-172.
Technical Abstract: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that has been identified in captive and free-ranging cervids in the U.S. since 1967. To determine the transmissibility of CWD to sheep, 8 Suffolk lambs [4 QQ and 4 QR at codon 171 of prion protein (PRNP) gene] were inoculated intracerebrally with a pooled brain suspension from 28 mule deer naturally affected with CWD (CWD**md). Two other lambs (1 QQ and 1 QR at codon 171 of the PRNP gene) were kept as non-inoculated controls. Within 36 months post inoculation (MPI), 2 animals became sick and were euthanized. Only 1 sheep (euthanized at 35 MPI) showed clinical signs that were consistent with those described for scrapie. Microscopic lesions of spongiform encephalopathy (SE) were only seen in the sheep with the clinical signs of TSE and its tissues were positive for the abnormal prion protein (PrP**res) by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Between 36 and 60 MPI, 3 other sheep were euthanized because of conditions unrelated to TSE. The remaining 3 sheep remained non-clinical at the termination of the study (72 MPI) and were euthanized at that time. One of the 3 animals revealed SE and its tissues were positive for PrP**res. Both sheep positive for PrP**res were homozygous QQ at codon 171. Retrospective examination of the PRNP genotype of the 2 TSE-positive animals revealed that the sheep with clinical prion disease (euthanized at 35 MPI) was heterozygous (AV) and the sheep with the sub-clinical disease (euthanized at 72 MPI) was homozygous (AA) at codon 136 of the PRNP. These findings demonstrate that transmission of the CWD**md agent to sheep via the intracerebral route is possible. Interestingly, the host genotype may play a significant part in successful transmission and incubation period of CWD**md.