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Volume 15, Number 5—May 2009

Research

Chronic Wasting Disease Prions in Elk Antler Velvet

Rachel C. Angers1, Tanya S. Seward, Dana Napier, Michael Green, Edward Hoover, Terry Spraker, Katherine O’Rourke, Aru Balachandran, and Glenn C. TellingComments to Author 
Author affiliations: University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, USA (R.C. Angers, T.S. Seward, D. Napier, M. Green, G.C. Telling); Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (E. Hoover, T. Spraker); US Department of Agriculture, Pullman, Washington, USA (K. O’Rourke); Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (A. Balachandran); 1Current affiliation: Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

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Table

Transmission of chronic wasting disease prions to transgenic mice*

Isolate from animal no. Mice expressing deer PrPC
Mice expressing elk PrPC
Tg(CerPrP)1536+/–
Tg(CerPrP-E226)5037+/–
Tg(CerPrP-E226)5029+/–
Antler velvet Brain Antler velvet Brain Brain % Decrease†
01-0306 442 ± 16 (6/8) 322 ± 9 (8/8) 305 ± 86 (2/7)‡ 174 ± 7 (8/8) 46 (<0.0001)
02-0306 >594 (0/5) 225 ± 3 (7/7)
03-0306 463 ± 23 (2/3)§ 335 ± 5 (7/7)
04-0306 >601 (0/6) 281 ± 5 (7/7) >505 (0/5) 224 ± 6 (7/7) 20 (<0.0001)
7378 235 ± 2 (8/8) 177 ± 15 (7/7) 25 (0.0061)
99W12389 230 ± 9 (8/8) 158 ± 13 (7/7) 31 (0.0004)
D10 225 ± 1 (8/8) 201 ± 8 (8/8) 11 (0.013)
D92 268 ± 15 (7/7) 201 ± 15 (8/8) 263 ± 10 (7/7) 25 (0.0061)
PBS >510 (0/6)
None >592 (0/4)¶

*Incubation times are given as mean ± SEM days. Values in parentheses are no. diseased mice/no. inoculated mice. PrPC, cellular prion protein; Tg, transgenic; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline.
†Values represent the percent decrease in mean incubation time of isolates in Tg(CerPrP-E226)5037+/– mice compared with Tg(CerPrP)1536+/– mice. p values, calculated by the Student t-test, are shown in parentheses.
‡The remaining 5 of 7 inoculated mice remained free of disease until 525 d postinoculation, at which time they were euthanized.
§Mice inoculated with the antler velvet preparation from elk 03-0306 had an unusually high rate of intercurrent illnesses, resulting in early euthanasia of 5 inoculated mice.
¶Four uninoculated Tg(CerPrP E2226) 5037+/– mice were euthanized at 437 d.

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