Possible Origins of Chronic Wasting Disease

Evidence Supporting the Origination of Chronic Wasting at a Fort Collins, Colorado, research facility where deer were penned near sheep with scrapie, a related disease

... A state Division of Wildlife biologist believes a nutritional study he conducted with deer, sheep and goats in the late 1960s might have been the genesis of chronic wasting disease. Gene Schoonveld suspects some of the sheep in his study had scrapie, a relative of chronic wasting disease. Some of the deer might have become infected with scrapie, which then mutated into CWD and spread to other deer... he said if the sheep had scrapie, it might have “jumped” from the sheep and mutated in deer as CWD. The deer and sheep were penned together from 1968 to 1971 ...
 
... The first cases of classic "chronic wasting" appeared in the late 1960's in captive wild deer held in interchangeable deer research facilities operated by Colorado State University (CSU) and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) at Ft Collins, Larimer County, Colorado. Wild deer cases were not observed until the late 1970's and then only with in a 50-kilometers (usually within a 5-km radius) of the research facilities even though sampling occurred outside that radius...

Fire May Be the Only Remedy for a Plague Killing Deer and Elk June 26, 2017 Chronic Wasting Disease, New York Times
 ... Scientists long suspected that deer and related species developed chronic wasting disease by picking up scrapie from sheep flocks kept at Colorado State University. The disease then turned up in other states and Canada as animals were shipped to private game farms... [this article also refers to the Norway outbreak, which is also suspected as resulting from transporting deer or parts, the Dr. Zabel works at Colorado State] ...

Chronic wasting disease implications for humans are alarming December 17, 2017 Wisconsin, Madison.com
 ... a captive herd of ungulates with CWD had been killed in Colorado. The land had been burned, tilled, poisoned and left fallow for years. When a new herd was put into the enclosure, they contracted CWD from the land...

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included in the comments for this article:   "Professor Adriano Aguzzi, an expert on Chronic Wasting Recently made this comment in a Facebook discussion about the disease:  ''it pains me to no end to even comtemplate the possibility, but it seems entirely plausible that CWD originated from scientist-made spread of scrapie from sheep to deer in the colorado research facility. If true, a terrible burden for those involved.'' 

Chronic wasting disease linked to Fort Collins for 50 years August 23, 2018 Colorado, The Coloradoan
... he was conducting experiments on mule deer in those pens to help them survive starvation during harsh winters ... about a dozen mule deer were brought in from various areas of Colorado... the deer might have already been infected... the disease might have crossed species. CSU was conducting scrapie research on domestic sheep and the sheep and deer were together in pens at times... [Gene Schoonveld, retired Colorado Division of Wildlife senior wildlife biologist] ...

Disease Threatening Deer Population Has Spread to 26 States February 7, 2019 By Cameron McWhirter, WSJ.com
... Early on, every case of CWD could be traced back to ... the Front Range experimental station in Fort Collins... Infected subjects were unwittingly sent to other states and then released into wild populations. Although it was accidental, it is still noteworthy that wildlife agencies tasked to protect deer unleashed the worst deer epidemic in history...


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