CM 793 presentation Date: September 16, 2021 @ 2:00 PM in Pathology 103
Title: “Assessing new strains of chronic wasting disease from Scandinavia”
Advisor: Glenn Telling
Prions are infectious proteins causing fatal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. Contagious transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease affecting deer, elk, and other cervids, has caused disease in wild and captive animals in 26 States, 3 Canadian provinces and most recently Scandinavia. Ongoing studies in our lab using genetically modified mice show that cases in Norway, which were initially discovered in 2016, have characteristics that are different from North American CWD. These studies indicate that CWD in Europe is unlikely to have been transmitted from an infected animal in North America and is of novel origin. This study focuses on investigations of the first cases of CWD in moose in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Our preliminary analyses reveal that the strain properties of Scandinavian CWD differ both between individual moose isolates and from North American CWD. Since there are currently no cures or treatments for prion diseases, and CWD is decimating cervid populations at alarming rates, ascertaining the origins, mutability, and adaptive properties of established and emergent CWD strains could lend insight into new approaches for therapeutics.