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Warning out on elk meat sold at Boulder farmer's market

By Kevin Vaughan, Rocky Mountain News (Contact) Published December 25, 2008 at 12:05 a.m.

State health officials issued a warning Wednesday after learning that unsuspecting consumers bought hundreds of pounds of elk meat this month from an animal infected with chronic wasting disease.

The elk was sold Dec. 13 at a farmer's market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

Although research has found no risk to humans who eat infected elk, officials at the state and Boulder County health departments recommended that the meat not be consumed.

"There's been now 10 years- plus of research looking at whether CWD poses a human health risk, and the evidence to date suggests it does not," said John Pape, epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

Still, he said, the research is not definitive.

In all, 15 animals purchased at a commercial Colorado elk ranch were processed in early December at a USDA-licensed plant. All those animals were tested for the disease.

Test results obtained Tuesday indicated that one of the animals was infected with CWD, one of several diseases thought to be caused by misshaped proteins that inflict damage to nerve cells in the brain. It is a cousin to both crapie in sheep and mad cow disease.

Label information

On infected elk meat:

* Seller: High Wire Ranch

* Cuts: chuck roast, arm roast, flat iron, ribeye steak, New York steak, tenderloin, sirloin tip roast, medallions and ground meat.

* Processor: Cedaredge Processing

* USDA triangle number: 34645

For more information, contact John Pape, Colorado Department of Health and Environment, 303-692-2628.


Elk meat recalled due to wasting disease

Publish Date: 12/24/2008

Longmont Times-Call

LONGMONT — Meat from an elk with chronic wasting disease was sold Dec. 13 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The meat is being recalled.

State health officials said the animal was one of 15 elk purchased from High Wire Ranch and processed in early December before being sold at a farmers market at the fairgrounds. The disease was found during a routine preliminary test for CWD; none of the other 14 elk were deemed to be infected.

CWD is not known to be dangerous to humans, health officials said, but the state advises against eating meat from animals with the disease.

The labeling on the meat would include:

• Seller: High Wire Ranch • The type of cut, listed as either “chuck roast,” “arm roast,” “flat iron,” “ribeye steak,” “New York steak,” “tenderloin,” “sirloin tip roast,” “medallions” or “ground meat.”

• Processor: Ceaderedge Processing • A USDA triangle with the number 34645. Final testing is still being conducted. State officials said the meat should be discarded if it matches the packaging label and was bought on the fairgrounds on Dec. 13.

CWD is a disease believed to be caused by prions, misshapen proteins that cause brain damage. The disease affects elk, deer and moose. Other prion diseases include scrapie in sheep and bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease” in cattle.

People with questions about the meat can contact John Pape of the state health department at 303-692-2628.



COLORADO: Farmer's market meat recalled after testing positive for CWD

24.dec.08 9News.com Jeffrey Wolf

Elk meat that was sold at a farmer's market is being recalled because tests show it was infected with chronic wasting disease. The Boulder County Health Department and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued the recall Wednesday after the meat was sold at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on Dec. 13. Although there isn't any human health risk connected with CWD, the recalled was issued as a precaution. About 15 elk were bought from a commercial ranch in Colorado in early December and processed at a licensed plant. All 15 were tested for CWD and one came up positive. The labeling on the product would have the following information: *Seller: High Wire Ranch *The type of cut: "chuck roast," "arm roast," "flat iron," "ribeye steak," "New York steak," "tenderloin," "sirloin tip roast," "medallions" or "ground meat." *Processor: Cedaredge Processing *The USDA triangle containing the number "34645" People with questions about this meat can contact John Pape, epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 303-692-2628.


COULD NOT FIND any warning or recalls on these two sites confirming their recall of CWD infected meat. ...TSS




North American Cervids Harbor Two Distinct CWD Strains


Angers, R. Seward, T, Napier, D., Browning, S., Miller, M., Balachandran A., McKenzie, D., Hoover, E., Telling, G. 'University of Kentucky; Colorado Division of Wildlife, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; University Of Wisconsin; Colorado State University.


Despite the increasing geographic distribution and host range of CWD, little is known about the prion strain(s) responsible for distinct outbreaks of the disease. To address this we inoculated CWD-susceptible Tg(CerPrP)1536+/· mice with 29 individual prion samples from various geographic locations in North America. Upon serial passage, intrastudy incubation periods consistently diverged and clustered into two main groups with means around 210 and 290 days, with corresponding differences in neuropathology. Prion strain designations were utilized to distinguish between the two groups: Type I CWD mice succumbed to disease in the 200 day range and displayed a symmetrical pattern of vacuolation and PrPSc deposition, whereas Type II CWD mice succumbed to disease near 300 days and displayed a strikingly different pattern characterized by large local accumulations of florid plaques distributed asymmetrically. Type II CWD bears a striking resemblance to unstable parental scrapie strains such as 87A which give rise to stable, short incubation period strains such as ME7 under certain passage conditions. In agreement, the only groups of CWD-inoculated mice with unwavering incubation periods were those with Type I CWD. Additionally, following endpoint titration of a CWD sample, Type I CWD could be recovered only at the lowest dilution tested (10-1), whereas Type II CWD was detected in mice inoculated with all dilutions resulting in disease. Although strain properties are believed to be encoded in the tertiary structure of the infectious prion protein, we found no biochemical differences between Type I and Type II CWD. Our data confirm the co·existence of two distinct prion strains in CWD-infected cervids and suggest that Type II CWD is the parent strain of Type I CWD.

see page 29, and see other CWD studies ;


Sunday, November 23, 2008

PRION October 8th - 10th 2008 Book of Abstracts


Saturday, September 06, 2008 Chronic wasting disease in a Wisconsin white-tailed deer farm 79% INFECTION RATE Contents: September 1 2008, Volume 20, Issue 5

snip...see full text ;


Wednesday, December 17, 2008 White-tailed Deer in Portage County Tests Positive for CWD


Monday, December 22, 2008






Quantifying the Species Barrier in Chronic Wasting Disease by a Novel in vitro Conversion Assay

Li, L1; Coulthart, MB2; Balachandran, A3; Chakrabartty, A4; Cashman, NR1 1University of British Columbia, Brain Research Centre, Canada; 2Public Health Agency of Canada, National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada; 3Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canada Food Inspection Agency, National Reference Laboratory for Scrapie and CWD, Canada; 4Ontario Cancer Institute and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Canada

Background: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that can affect North American cervids (deer, elk, and moose). Although the risk of CWD crossing the species barrier and causing human disease is still unknown, however, definite bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) transmission to humans as variant CJD (vCJD), it would seem prudent to limit the exposure of humans to CWD.

Aim: In view of the fact that BSE can be readily transmitted to non-bovid species, it is important to establish the species susceptibility range of CWD.

Methods: In vitro conversion system was performed by incubation of prions with normal brain homogenates as described before, and protease K (PK) resistant PrP was determined by immunoblotting with 6H4 monoclonal prion antibody.

Results: Our results demonstrate that PrPC from cervids (including moose) can be efficiently converted to a protease-resistant form by incubation with elk CWD prions, presumably due to sequence and structural similarities between these species. Interestingly, hamster shows a high conversion ratio by PrPCWD. Moreover, partial denaturation of substrate PrPC can apparently overcome the structural barriers between more distant species.

Conclusions: Our work correctly predicted the transmission of CWD to a wild moose. We find a species barrier for prion protein conversion between cervids and other species, however, this barrier might be overcome if the PrPC substrate has been partially denatured in a cellular environment. Such an environment might also promote CWD transmission to non-cervid species, *** including humans. Acid/GdnHCl-treated brain PrPC was a superior substrate for the in vitro conversion than PrPC treated at physiological pH. This has implications for the process by which the prion protein is converted in disease.

http://www.prion2007.com/pdf/Prion Book of Abstracts.pdf

Subject: DOCKET-- 03D-0186 -- FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Use of Material From Deer and Elk in Animal Feed; Availability Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 11:47:37 -0500 From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." To: [email protected]


Thursday, April 03, 2008

A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease

2008 1: Vet Res. 2008 Apr 3;39(4):41

A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease

Sigurdson CJ.


*** twenty-seven CJD patients who regularly consumed venison were reported to the Surveillance Center***,


full text ;


Wednesday, December 17, 2008



The prion strain phenomenon: Molecular basis and unprecedented features


From: TSS (216-119-163-189.ipset45.wt.net)


Date: September 30, 2002 at 7:06 am PST

From: "Belay, Ermias"


Cc: "Race, Richard (NIH)" ; ; "Belay,


Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 9:22 AM


Dear Sir/Madam,

In the Archives of Neurology you quoted (the abstract of which was

attached to your email), we did not say CWD in humans will present like

variant CJD.

That assumption would be wrong. I encourage you to read the whole

article and call me if you have questions or need more clarification

(phone: 404-639-3091). Also, we do not claim that "no-one has ever been

infected with prion disease from eating venison." Our conclusion stating

that we found no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans in the

article you quoted or in any other forum is limited to the patients we


Ermias Belay, M.D.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

-----Original Message-----


Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 10:15 AM

To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]



Sunday, November 10, 2002 6:26 PM ......snip........end..............TSS


A. Aguzzi - Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) also needs to be addressed. Most

serious because of rapid horizontal spread and higher prevalence than BSE in

UK, up to 15% in some populations. Also may be a risk to humans - evidence

that it is not dangerous to humans is thin.


Chronic Wasting Disease and Potential Transmission to Humans

Ermias D. Belay,* Ryan A. Maddox,* Elizabeth S. Williams,† Michael W. Miller,‡ Pierluigi Gambetti,§ and Lawrence B. Schonberger*

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; †University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA; ‡Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; and §Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Suggested citation for this article: Belay ED, Maddox RA, Williams ES, Miller MW, Gambetti P, Schonberger LB. Chronic wasting disease and potential transmission to humans. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2004 Jun [date cited]. Available from:http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no6/03-1082.htm


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk is endemic in a tri-corner area of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, and new foci of CWD have been detected in other parts of the United States. Although detection in some areas may be related to increased surveillance, introduction of CWD due to translocation or natural migration of animals may account for some new foci of infection. Increasing spread of CWD has raised concerns about the potential for increasing human exposure to the CWD agent. The foodborne transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans indicates that the species barrier may not completely protect humans from animal prion diseases. Conversion of human prion protein by CWD-associated prions has been demonstrated in an in vitro cell-free experiment, but limited investigations have not identified strong evidence for CWD transmission to humans. More epidemiologic and laboratory studies are needed to monitor the possibility of such transmissions.

snip...full text ;


Volume 12, Number 10–October 2006


Human Prion Disease and Relative Risk Associated with Chronic Wasting Disease

Samantha MaWhinney,* W. John Pape,† Jeri E. Forster,* C. Alan Anderson,‡§ Patrick Bosque,‡¶ and Michael W. Miller#

*University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA; †Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado, USA; ‡University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA; §Denver Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, USA; ¶Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, USA; and #Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Suggested citation for this article

The transmission of the prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to humans raises concern about chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease of deer and elk. In 7 Colorado counties with high CWD prevalence, 75% of state hunting licenses are issued locally, which suggests that residents consume most regionally harvested game. We used Colorado death certificate data from 1979 through 2001 to evaluate rates of death from the human prion disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The relative risk (RR) of CJD for CWD-endemic county residents was not significantly increased (RR 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40–1.63), and the rate of CJD did not increase over time (5-year RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.73–1.16). In Colorado, human prion disease resulting from CWD exposure is rare or nonexistent. However, given uncertainties about the incubation period, exposure, and clinical presentation, the possibility that the CWD agent might cause human disease cannot be eliminated.

snip... full text ;


full text ;


The statistical incidence of CJD cases in the United States has been revised to reflect that there is one case per 9000 in adults age 55 and older. Eighty-five percent of the cases are sporadic, meaning there is no known cause at present.





Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

Thursday, December 25, 2008
Elk meat recalled due to CWD Boulder County Health Department and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

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