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Disease possible from consuming deer

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  • Pat Scala
    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Findings from an animal study suggest that disease-cause prions can be spread via infected skeletal muscle from deer with chronic
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2006
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      NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Findings from an animal study suggest that
      disease-cause prions can be spread via infected skeletal muscle from deer
      with chronic wasting disease (CWD) -- a wildlife illness related to mad cow
      disease.

      Whether CWD can be passed to humans is still unclear, but the present
      findings suggest that if this does occur, simply handling the meat of
      infected dear could pose a risk, senior author Dr. Glenn C. Telling, from
      the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues warn in the journal
      Science.

      The researchers injected muscle or brain extracts from CWD-affected mule
      deer into the brains of mice.

      As expected, the brain extracts were much more efficient at causing disease
      in the mice. Still, all of the muscle extracts caused progressive neurologic
      dysfunction too, albeit with longer incubation times.

      These results show that muscle, "which is likely to be consumed by humans,
      is a significant source of prion infectivity," the authors write. "Humans
      consuming or handling meat from CWD-infected deer are therefore at risk to
      prion exposure."

      SOURCE: Science January 26, 2006.





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