Occurrence of CWD prions and their risk to humans, The
Zoonotic diseases are often caused by viruses or bacteria, which adapt to new species with changes to their nucleic acid sequence. The etiologic agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the prion, is a self-templating, abnormal isomer of a normal protein, PrPC, and does not include nucleic acids. Despite its protein-only composition, prions are transmissible and can adapt to new species. We are particularly interested in chronic wasting disease (CWD), the TSE of cervids. CWD is horizontally transmissible among cervids and has spread across much of North America and to Europe ...
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