Characterizing patterns of tissue tropism and environmental reservoirs of PrPCWD in infected cervids

  • Author / Creator
    Price, Luke M.
  • Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease affecting cervids. Believed to be transmitted horizontally, the factors affecting CWD contagion are unknown, but bodily fluids or excretions have been implicated as possible routes of transmission. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) was used as an ultra-sensitive method of detection of prion protein (PrPCWD) across four different cervids: white-tailed deer (WTD), elk, mule deer, and red deer. Strong correlations were observed between traditional diagnostic tests and PMCA for detection of CWD, validating the PMCA PrPCWD assay as a potential diagnostic tool. Assessment of PrPCWD tissue tropism and shedding of CWD prions in the secreta/excreta of infected WTD revealed high levels of PrPCWD in organs other than skeletal muscle throughout the course of infection. PrPCWD was detected in urine, saliva and fecal samples at high levels during the course of infection suggesting that concentrated foci of infectious prions may be sporadically present in the environment.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Public Health Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Neumann, Norman (Public Health Sciences)
    • Belosevic, Miodrag (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Hanington, Patrick (Public Health Sciences)
    • Jeon, Byeong Hwa (Public Health Sciences)
    • Aiken, Judd (Agriculture, Food & Nutritional Sciences)