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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Age-related lesions in laboratory-confined raccoons (Procyon lotor) inoculated with the agent of chronic wasting disease)

item Hamir, Amirali
item Kunkle, Robert
item Miller, Janice
item Cutlip, Randall
item Richt, Juergen
item Kehrli Jr, Marcus
item Williams Jr, Elizabeth

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2007
Publication Date: 11/1/2007
Citation: Hamir, A.N., Kunkle, R.A., Miller, J.M., Cutlip, R.C., Richt, J.A., Kehrli, Jr., M.E., Williams, Jr., E.S. 2007. Age-related lesions in laboratory-confined raccoons (Procyon lotor) inoculated with the agent of chronic wasting disease. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 19(6):680-686.

Interpretive Summary: Lesions of abnormal accumulation of watery fluid in uterus (hydrometra) are described in an adult laboratory-confined raccoon (Procyon lotor). This report appears to be the first documented case of hydrometra in a raccoon. The long non-reproductive period of laboratory confinement of this raccoon may have led to the observed detrimental impact on the genital health of this animal.

Technical Abstract: This communication documents age-associated pathologic changes and final observations on experimental transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) by the intracerebral route to raccoons (Procyon lotor). Four kits were inoculated intracerebrally with a brain suspension from mule deer with CWD. Two uninoculated kits served as controls. One CWD-inoculated raccoon was humanely killed at 38 months after inoculation, and 1 control animal died at 68 months after inoculation. Both animals had lesions that were unrelated to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Six years after inoculation, none of the 3 remaining CWD-inoculated raccoons had shown clinical signs of neurologic disorder, and the experiment was terminated. Spongiform encephalopathy was not observed by light microscopy, and the presence of abnormal prion protein (PrP**d) was not detected by either immunohistochemistry or Western blot techniques. Age-related lesions observed in these raccoons included islet-cell pancreatic amyloidosis (5/6), cystic endometrial hyperplasia (3/4), cerebrovascular mineralization (5/6), neuroaxonal degeneration (3/6), transitional-cell adenoma of the urinary bladder (1/6), and myocardial inclusions (4/6). The latter 2 pathologic conditions were not previously reported in raccoons.

Last Modified: 05/29/2017
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