Are humans susceptible to chronic wasting disease (CWD)?

Wildlife experts are not panicking about the recent euthanization of about three dozen deer in a South Texas ranch where four bucks were found with a degenerative neurological disorder called chronic wasting disease.

However, it has raised concerns about the well-being of the $2.1 billion-a-year deer industry in Texas.

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  • Guest - Dr. Frank Bastian

    It appears CWD has invaded the south!! The problem in determining the
    danger to the public is that the pathology of CWD shows presence of
    flocular amyloid plaques indicative of a more virulent form of the
    transmissible TSE agent. Similar amyloid plaques are seen in new variant
    CJD in England and in kuru. A number of cases of CJD occurring in young
    people (21) in the West suggest possible relationship to CWD, but that is
    not proven. I am surprised that Walter Cook, clinical associate professor
    at Texas A&M University,was foolhardy enough to test whether he was
    susceptible to CWD.
    My research showed a singular form of rDNA related to spiroplasma in CWD
    brains (Bastian, et al., 2004) suggesting a way to make the connection.
    Molecular identification of the Spiroplasma sp. associated with CWD would
    lead to answering the question.


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