in collaboration with Edward Hoover of Colorado State
University, will study the intricacies of CWD infection
in deer and elk. Future diagnostics and therapies
may result from these studies.
Ky. (Nov. 25, 2002) -- Glenn Telling, associate
professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology
and Molecular Genetics, University of Kentucky College
of Medicine, will be integral to two studies commissioned
by the Food and Drug Administration to explore the
human health risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD),
part of a comprehensive initiative to fight the spread
of the disease in deer and elk herds across the United
Telling, in collaboration with Edward Hoover of Colorado
State University, will study the intricacies of CWD
infection in deer and elk. Future diagnostics and
therapies may result from these studies. The researchers
also hope to better understand the entire spectrum
of disease transmission and under what circumstances
CWD might be transmitted to other species. A possible
vaccine to prevent the spread of CWD in deer and elk
will also be investigated.
CWD is one form of a group of fatal brain diseases
called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).
These diseases include "mad cow" disease
in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease in humans. TSE disease is indicated by an
accumulation of abnormal prion proteins in the brain,
disfigured versions of the normal prion proteins found
on the surface of brain cells.
CWD is afflicting deer and elk throughout the nation.
Scientists do not yet know if elk or deer with the
disease might also transmit some form of TSE disease
to human beings, through consumption of meat from,
or close contact with, infected animals. CWD is spreading
over a wider geographical area in the U.S., and answering
this question is of critical public health importance.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) budget is committed to doing just that. Overall,
the HHS has proposed spending more than $29.2 million
in fiscal year 2003 to expand research efforts to
combat the growing threat of prion diseases.