Chronic wasting disease
Collins, Steven J. The Australian National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Registry and Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
Last reviewed:May 2020
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- Epidemiology, surveillance, and containment measures
- Clinical features
- Pathology and tissue distribution of PrPCWD
- Cross-species transmission and concerns for human health
- Research opportunities
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A contagious, fatal, neurological disease affecting members of the deer family. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a serious transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) that affects cervids [members of the ruminant family Cervidae (characterized by antlers), including deer, elk (Fig. 1), caribou (reindeer), and moose]. In contrast to other animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, CWD is unique because it is found in both captive (or raised) and free-ranging cervids. In general, CWD prions (infectious proteins) spread among cervids through body fluids (for example, saliva, urine, or blood) or feces, which can be encountered directly or indirectly (for example, through environmental contamination of soil, water, or food). CWD is a progressive disease that always ends with death of the affected animal. See also: Caribou; Deer; Moose; Nervous system (vertebrate); Nervous system disorders; Prion disease; Protein
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