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Infectious Prions in the Saliva and Blood of Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

Science  06 Oct 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5796, pp. 133-136
DOI: 10.1126/science.1132661

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Abstract

A critical concern in the transmission of prion diseases, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids, is the potential presence of prions in body fluids. To address this issue directly, we exposed cohorts of CWD-naïve deer to saliva, blood, or urine and feces from CWD-positive deer. We found infectious prions capable of transmitting CWD in saliva (by the oral route) and in blood (by transfusion). The results help to explain the facile transmission of CWD among cervids and prompt caution concerning contact with body fluids in prion infections.

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