Oral and nasal mucosal pathways of prion infection in chronic wasting disease
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Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurodegenerative prion disease of deer, elk, and moose. The unique feature of CWD as a prion disease is its efficient transmission among cervids in nature. As with other prion infections, CWD disease inception relies on the conversion of the normal host cellular prion protein (PrPC) to the abnormal, protease-resistant isoform (PrPCWD)--the diagnostic hallmark of prion diseases. Since its detection in Colorado in 1967, CWD has spread to captive and free-ranging cervid species in 16 additional states, 3 Canadian provinces, and one Asian country. CWD ...