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    Default Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    Numerous HOT links to other articles off main link

    BTW they have spent much money for research to find any solution to prion IF CWD is actually a prion there is no cure. IF however CWD is caused by a Bacteria as suggested in article there is hope for US, otherwise its a dim future for deer hunting as CWD continues to spread



    Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    https://www.outtherecolorado.com/gro...sting-disease/

    Chronic wasting disease is a growing threat for deer, elk, and moose in North America, infecting a larger portion of the populations each year.

    The fatal disease attacks the neurological system and seems, at this point, impossible to cure. Adding another layer to this complicated issue is a recent discovery that might indicate that efforts to stop it have been misaligned, with silver-lined implications that could have dire consequences if not heeded.

    “We’ve got to do something soon…why do the research if the problem disappears,” said Dr. Frank O. Bastian, implying that if chronic wasting disease is not stopped, it could be detrimental to entire cervid species.

    The Discovery

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is considered a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, or TSE, which puts it in the same class as mad cow disease. Traditionally, always fatal TSE brain diseases have been considered to be the result of a deformed protein called a prion and studied as such. But one group of scientists led by Dr. Frank O. Bastian believes this explanation might not be accurate for CWD or other TSEs.

    In an article published in the American Association of Neuropathologists’ Journal of Neurology and Experimental Neuropathology (November 2019), Dr. Frank O. Bastian, a neuropathologist currently with the University of New Orleans and formerly with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, and his team of researchers claim that CWD is caused by a spiroplasma bacterium. If that’s the case, it could mean that decades spent looking for an answer in prions might be for naught.

    Prion vs. Bacteria
    In order to comprehend the potential impact of Bastian’s claim, it’s important to understand the difference between a bacterium and a prion.

    One distinguishing factor is prions don’t contain nucleic acid while bacteria do. This means attempts to destroy a disease-causing pathogen by breaking down the nucleic acid won’t work on a prion.

    Another crucial difference is that a prion is a deformation of a protein that already exists in the body, meaning the deformation of a native protein won’t trigger an immune system response that bacterial microbes might. Keep in mind that vaccinations work because they intentionally trigger this immune response, thus training the body to recognize and fight certain pathogens.

    While vaccines won’t work on prion-caused conditions, they can work on a bacteria-caused disease, as is the case with typhoid. This could open the door for preventative vaccinations if CWD is bacteria-caused.

    The Study
    The claim that TSEs might be caused by a spiroplasma bacterium instead of a deformed prion allegedly came after Dr. Bastian was able to isolate a bacteria microbe from the tissues of TSE-infected animals, including deer with CWD. After the microbe was isolated in his laboratory setting, it was put back into healthy animals, which then developed spongiform encephalopathy. In other words, after this isolated bacterium was introduced to otherwise healthy animals, they developed symptoms characteristic of naturally occurring TSEs.

    According to Bastian, this previously unidentified species of bacterium can be considered an extreme thermoacidophile that’s very difficult to kill. Microorganisms found in acid mine drainages, deep sea vents and thermal hot springs often fall into this category. In order to determine this attribute, Bastian put the bacterium through several tests and it survived them all, including exposure to boiling, formaldehyde, gamma irradiation, and extreme acidity. This ability to test the unidentified bacterium due to the new ability to consistently grow the organism in a culture is something Bastian considers to be one of his greatest recent successes.

    Bastian has been studying CWD for more than a decade. In 2007, he injected spiroplasma bacteria into laboratory animals, which reportedly led to the animals showing signs of CWD in less than two months. He believes that while prions might be deformed in CWD victims, these are merely a sign the disease is present, not the cause.

    Despite Bastian’s extensive research, his claim of CWD causation is not widely supported. According to John Eveland, project director of North American CWD Project, a large majority of scientists studying the subject hold to the belief that the disease is caused by a prion despite little progress in understanding CWD or preventing its spread over several decades of research. Eveland says that the funding for CWD research reflects this division, with virtually all funding devoted to prion research.

    Implications for Humans
    While there aren’t official reports of CWD infection in humans, health organizations advise against eating infected meat and research is ongoing.

    One study, started in 2009 by a group of Canadian and German scientists, is working to determine if CWD can be transmitted to macaques – a type of monkey that is genetically closer to humans than any other species that has contracted CWD. While the results have yet to be published in academic literature, the scientists have publicly presented their progress, which preliminarily showed that monkeys can be infected with CWD by eating the muscle or brain tissues of infected animals. At times, this transmission is said to have occurred prior to the infected animal showing symptoms. When Bastian was asked about this study, he wasn’t willing to throw his support behind the data, acknowledging that it had yet to be published.

    If transmission to humans is possible, it likely would put many at risk. One 2006-2007 estimate from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that more than two-thirds of Americans have eaten cervid meat. Keep in mind that TSEs tend to have a very long incubation period in humans, up to several decades, allowing the infection to go unnoticed for years.

    While the verdict is out on whether or not humans are susceptible to CWD, other diseases in the TSE classification can be contracted by humans. One condition that is similar to CWD is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Like CWD, CJD traditionally has been believed to be the result of a misfolded prion and is a fatal degenerative disorder that impacts the neurological system. Unlike CWD, which tends to have an incubation period of around 16 months in deer, CJD typically has an incubation period of decades in humans, with most people that show signs of the disease aged between 60 and 65. Some worry that if CWD is infecting humans, it might have a similarly long incubation period making the disease difficult to diagnose.

    A Possible Solution
    In the wake of Bastian’s most recent research, North American CWD Project was formed to help advance his attempt to develop new diagnostic tests and vaccines related to CWD. Primary research for the project is now being conducted at the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Materials Research Institute in the Bastian Laboratory for Neurological Disease Research. Field tests are expected to take place at a second research facility in Pennsylvania.

    The group has targeted four areas it believes could help fight the spread of CWD. First, the group hopes to address a key problem with CWD – effectively determining which animals are infected. Currently, testing is a slow process that requires hunters to bring the carcass to a designated facility. North American CWD Project is pushing to develop a field diagnostic kit that will allow hunters to test the animal at the kill site. The next goal is to create a live-animal test. The group believes that better access to testing will prevent humans from ingesting potentially infected meat.

    The group also aims to develop antibiotic vaccines that might prevent the spread of the disease – one that would be injectable for captive animals and another that would be oral for free-range animals. One major implication of CWD being caused by a bacterium and not a prion would be that vaccines could be an effective solution. The goal is to have the vaccines created within three years.

    Finally, the group is trying to develop a cure for the human-infecting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease within 5-6 years, moving on to address additional neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s within 6-10 years.
    One roadblock to this plan of attack, according to project director John Eveland, is lack of funding considering that nearly all government and private money spent is spent on prion research.

    The Debate Continues
    Colorado Parks and Wildlife refutes the claim that CWD could be caused by a spiroplasma bacteria.

    Support for their stance includes a 1982 study by Dr. Stanley Prusiner that demonstrated that the causative agent of another TSE disease was “most likely” protein based. This was concluded after a scrapie-infected brain remained infectious after bacteria destroying enzymes were introduced. When protein-neutralizing enzymes were introduced, the infectivity dropped.

    In another 2006 study cited by Colorado Parks and Wildlife representatives (Irina Alexeeva, et al.), researchers found that no bacteria was consistently associated with scrapie, drawing the conclusion that the “agent responsible for TSE disease cannot be spiroplasma or any other eubacterial species.”

    One study conducted by Hilari Maree French (2011) had difficulty recreating research claims that supported the bacteria-causation of CWD. During this study, French found that three spiroplasma bacteria tested were each susceptible to common laboratory disinfectants. This same research introduced spiroplasma mirum to animals with no resulting infection. The species of bacteria that Bastian claims to have identified as the cause of CWD is not spiroplasma mirum.

    The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies also disputes claims that CWD may be caused by something other than a prion. Their official statement is as follows: “We felt that until there was definitive proof otherwise, it was important that the Association go on the record as supporting the overwhelming scientific consensus that Chronic Wasting Disease is caused by mutated protein known as prions.”

    According to Eveland, claims that Dr. Bastian’s research has not successfully been duplicated are false. According to Dr. Bastian, no one has adequately tried.

    In Conclusion
    While Bastain’s research has stoked the debate regarding what causes CWD, it seems as if official organizations are lagging when it comes to adopting findings from the study. Definitively determining the cause of CWD and garnering support from the larger scientific community will likely prove crucial in stopped the spread of this infection before it’s too late.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    Its a testable hypothesis.
    They call me "Simple Jack".

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    Default Re: Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    Quote Originally Posted by ItchyTick View Post
    Its a testable hypothesis.
    Unfortunately, no other researchers have been able to recreate Bastain's results in over a decade. If it ain't reproducable, it ain't valid science and the results are suspect.

    Although, I wish Bastain's hypothesis were true. Prion diseases are fargin SCARY!
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

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    Default Re: Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandcut View Post
    Unfortunately, no other researchers have been able to recreate Bastain's results in over a decade. If it ain't reproducable, it ain't valid science and the results are suspect.

    Although, I wish Bastain's hypothesis were true. Prion diseases are fargin SCARY!
    You’re correct, in that the result hasn’t been replicated. His theory makes perfect sense though. How could a deformed protein induce a body to make more, and bacteria are much more long lived than a protein string in nature. I can imagine there are plenty of bacteria we’ve never seen before hiding deep within the earth.

    I would also wonder about the connection to other brain wasting diseases like PSP and other various forms of Parkinson’s. My mother died of a PSP variant, and her absolutely identical twin is very much alive and well. Both brains will be studied when her twin passes; it is an opportunity that researchers were really looking for.
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

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    Default Re: Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaydeno View Post
    You’re correct, in that the result hasn’t been replicated. His theory makes perfect sense though. How could a deformed protein induce a body to make more, and bacteria are much more long lived than a protein string in nature. I can imagine there are plenty of bacteria we’ve never seen before hiding deep within the earth.

    I would also wonder about the connection to other brain wasting diseases like PSP and other various forms of Parkinson’s. My mother died of a PSP variant, and her absolutely identical twin is very much alive and well. Both brains will be studied when her twin passes; it is an opportunity that researchers were really looking for.

    Easily. By secreting a protease tk catalyze the reaction. By secreting a replication complex. By having a domain of viral nucleic acid in its DNA. There's lots of ways.

    And bacteria are not more persistant than prions. Exactly the opposite. Studies have shown CWD prions that persist for many months exposed to the wild. They've been found to be capable of passing through coyotes and still being viable after being passed through scat. About the only thing that has been shown to ne effective at "killing" it (considering that it isn't really alive) is temps above 900°F.

    Understand one thing. I want Bastain's research to be true. It would make CWD treatable and much less scary. As it is now, CWD is in the top 2 scariest things on the planet (to me) along with tick-borne diseases.

    Baistain's hypothesis is PLAUSIBLE. But, until it can be verified and reproduced, it remains to be just an idea that is unsupported. And you don't base population management and public health on unsupported good ideas. Bastain's work goes against the consensus of all that is known about how prion diseases work. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is healthy to challenge scientific dogma. But, his onstant insistance on the validity of his hypothesis, in the absence of supporting evidence, comes across more as shameless self-promotion rather than good science.

    I do believe that more funding should bengiven to explore his line of inquiry in the event that he may be on to something, even if his exact suggested cause is wrong. Serendipity only works if you're working on something.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

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    Default Re: Ground-breaking study could reveal true cause of deer-killing disease

    The group also aims to develop antibiotic vaccines that might prevent the spread of the disease – one that would be injectable for captive animals and another that would be oral for free-range animals. One major implication of CWD being caused by a bacterium and not a prion would be that vaccines could be an effective solution. The goal is to have the vaccines created within three years.

    Finally, the group is trying to develop a cure for the human-infecting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease within 5-6 years, moving on to address additional neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s within 6-10 years.
    One roadblock to this plan of attack, according to project director John Eveland, is lack of funding considering that nearly all government and private money spent is spent on prion research.

    Sorry but this is guy is total BS. Claiming everyone else is wrong and your unproven theory can cure Alzheimer's (if you have more money) in 6-10 years is ludicrous.

    Kind of makes you wonder why he is wasting his time curing CWD in deer first when he can cure C-J disease and Alzheimer's in a decade.

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