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Read this in the Dec 27 of Lancaster Farming. Developed at the New York University's Langone Medical Center and elsewhere. Source was American Association for the Advancement of Science. Read about it and sounds like it is just being tested. Maybe there is hope for stopping this disease. Maybe someone can copy the article over on this sight.
 

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Vaccine Developed for Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer

12/27/2014 7:00 AM

Researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccine they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts — protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease and preventing similar brain infections in humans.

The study, published in Vaccine online on Dec. 21, documents a scientific milestone — the first successful vaccination of deer against chronic wasting disease, a fatal brain disorder caused by unusual infectious proteins known as prions.

Prions propagate by converting otherwise healthy proteins into a disease state.

“Now that we have found that preventing prion infection is possible in animals, it’s likely feasible in humans as well,” said senior study investigator and neurologist Thomas Wisniewski, a professor at NYU Langone.

CWD afflicts North America’s captive deer population, as well as large numbers of other cervids that populate the plains and forests of the Northern Hemisphere, including wild deer, elk, caribou and moose.

There is growing concern among scientists that CWD could possibly spread to livestock, especially cattle, in much the same manner that bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, another prion-based infection, spread through the United Kingdom almost two decades ago.

According to Wisniewski and his research team, if further vaccine experiments prove successful, a relatively small number of animals — as few as 10 percent — could be inoculated to induce herd immunity, in which disease transmission is essentially stopped in a much larger group.

For the study, five deer were given the vaccine; another six were given a placebo. All of the deer were exposed to prion-infected brain tissue. They also were housed together, engaging in group activities similar to those in the wild.

Scientists say this kept them in constant exposure to the infectious prions. The animals receiving the vaccine were given eight boosters over 11 months until key immune antibodies were detectable in blood, saliva and feces.

The deer also were monitored daily for signs of illness, and investigators performed biopsies of the animals’ tonsils and gut tissue every three months to search for signs of CWD infection.
Within two years, all of the deer given the placebo developed CWD. Four deer given the real vaccine took significantly longer to develop infection, and the fifth one continues to remain infection free.

Wisniewski and his team made the vaccine using Salmonella bacteria, which easily enters the gut, to mirror the most common mode of natural infection —ingestion of prion-contaminated food or feces.

To prepare the vaccine, the team inserted a prionlike protein into the genome of an attenuated, or no longer dangerous, Salmonella bacterium. This engineered the Salmonella to induce an immune response in the gut, producing anti-prion antibodies.

“Although our anti-prion vaccine experiments have so far been successful on mice and deer, we predict that the method and concept could become a widespread technique for not only preventing, but potentially treating many prion diseases,” said lead study investigator Fernando Goni, an associate professor at NYU Langone.
 

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Seems like a step in the right direction. Progress. Waugh!
 

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Yepper. Good find, good read, good news.
 

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Another vaccine is in testing in Tennessee (from the last working group meeting).

The problem is going to be getting any each vaccine into the wild herd.

Still great news. First steps grow into larger ones!
 

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Bates,

Thank you for posting the article. There is reason for cautious optimism in all this. For once, we're starting off a new year with good news.
 

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If it was oral, it will be a lot easier to distribute in the wild herd. Heck, I could immunize a dozen deer around here just putting it in my birdfeeder.
 
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