This article was first published 04.04.2016
- The sick female reindeer (Rangifer tarandus
The body condition of the reindeer was below medium, but it had still some adipose tissue left. In cervids older than 18 months, we routinely collect sample of the brain for CWD examination as part of the national surveillance program for CWD, and that was also done in this reindeer, Vikøren continues.
The head of the Norwegian Reference Laboratory for animal prion diseases at Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Sylvie Benestad, states that the brain sample from the reindeer was positive for the detection of prions both by the first routine test (ELISA-test) and in two supplementary tests (Western Blotting, Immunohistochemistry).
Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious neurological disease that attacks the brain of cervids. CWD belongs to a group of diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), in which the infectious agents are known to be the prion protein, a normal protein that misfolds and destroys the brain. The development of the disease is slow and affected cervids show loss of body condition and altered behavior. Death is inevitable once clinical disease occurs.
CWD is an endemic disease in North America, in which natural infections occur in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), white-tailed deer (O.
The Norwegian Veterinary Institute will take the initiative to follow-up surveys of this disease in the Norwegian wild reindeer populations.
Updated 19.04.2016. Nature has written a news story based on our detection of CWD.