Start Date: Jun 24, 2008
End Date: Jun 23, 2013
Describe the distribution and characteristics of abnormal prion protein in the neural and extraneural tissues of captive and free ranging elk with clinical and preclinical chronic wasting disease. Experimental Design: The CWD status of Rocky Mountain elk will be determined by live animal biopsy of rectal mucosal lymphoid tissues from Rocky Mountain elk. Immunohistochemistry of the biopsy sample is performed using methods developed by the cooperator and ARS. Elk with positive test results are euthanized and tissues collected from neural and extraneural tissues. A panel of 25 tissues per animal is examined with a battery of antibody based and histologic methods for evidence of abnormal prion protein accumulation and evidence of spongiform encephalopathy. ARS will analyze the open reading frame of the prion protein in each animal.