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More CWD questions

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Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
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I really want to thank Kathy and reader 2nd for answering my questions in detail. However, my real concern is that even though deer with adequate copper intake don't seem to contract CWD, that maybe they could still be carriers. Maybe same for cattle. I saw some research that showed that certain genetic combinations would prevent BSE symptoms from developing, even though animal had been infected. To me this means an infected animal could be a carrier and not develop symptoms. This seems to be the case with deer and CWD. I think there are a lot of positive results that don't show symptoms. So could this be the case for cattle? Could they be carriers without showing sysmtoms? If this is even a possability then our state is doing cattlemen a great diservice by essentially ignoring CWD and allowing it to spread. Was wondering if a large number of cattle in CWD areas have been tested to see if they could be carriers. It seems to me that if deer contract it from their surroundings, then cattle could too.
Cedardell: I presented a submission as a cattle producer to an international panel of experts studying TSE's and specifically CWD in Canada. It was reassuring to hear that there is no evidence of species to species transmission. Several species of livestock have been maintained for years in infected deer pens with no evidence of sickness. It WAS pointed out that the only cross species infection was achieved by the deliberate brain injection of infected material! :!:
It WAS pointed out that the only cross species infection was achieved by the deliberate brain injection of infected material!

This same "scientific testing" was the main reason Americans used for keeping Canadian feeder lambs from crossing the border for the last 2 years.

They were afraid sheep might be carriers of BSE into the clean American cattle herd... This reasoning was arrived at mainly because somebody in a lab somewhere was able to acheive the same result. Only problem I could see was to try and get access to a dead cow that was confirmed with BSE to try and get some "infected material" to inject into live sheep.

Something everbody would like to " try at home"! :roll:

Give us all a break please...[/quote]
To me this test is not necessarily proof that other species can't carry infected prions and not express them as symptoms. If CWD is in fact caused by mineral{ copper deficiency} then maybe other species have different requirements and maybe not develop symptoms. My concern is, can species like sheep and cattle and even deer carry infected prions without developing symptoms? This seems to be the case in deer. Now if the disease can be reversed by simply feeding minerals(copper) like reader (the second) pointed out in her reply, then this would be strong evidence that maybe mineral deficiency could be the culprit. But this could be easily proved because researchers from our land grant colleges have been doing research on deficiencies for years and would have already completed tests and trials in this area. However, if it was a gentic profile like recent mouse studies have indicated, that keeps exposed animals from developing symptoms, then it would be highly likely that other species could carry the infected prions without ever developing the symptoms. In which case it would be prudent to test all cattle and sheep at slaughter for CWE and BSE. My real question is has there already been extensive testing of healthy cattle in CWD areas for CWD? I think this would have to be done at slaughter and I doubt if this has been done because it has been writen off as a none concern. At least no one seems concerned about it in the state of Illinois as CWD has spread rapidly in the last year.
:) Good topic cedardell, however I can't understand your concern about carriers. What do you mean by a carrier, and what are you suggesting. If an animal has misfolded prions in it's system and does not develop a full blown TSE problem, I would see that only as a good thing. Possible resistance due to genetics, etc. etc.

Misfolded prions are the key here. Prions are natural and fine. They have a purpose. Misfolded prions are the concern.

Randy Kaiser
Maybe I don't understand the issue of folded prions. But I am concerned that if cattle could carry folded prions for CWD and never show sysmptoms that none concern would cause them to enter the food chain. Especially because I live in an area that is ignoring CWD and my family and grandchildren eat a lot of our own beef. They test a lot of deer in our area that show up positive. So am worried that just because our cattle never have shown symptoms doesn't necessarily mean the meat from them may not contain folded prions.
Is proof through testing for folded CWD prions in cattle that this does not happen? Has there been any testing on healthy cattle for misfolded CWD prions?

I think your working yourself up over nothing. The transmissible end of these diseases has been crossing species barriers in the lab under very specific procedures which will not happen outside the lab.

If you are really concerned about transmission, then you first need to understand prion diseases better. If you take time to learn about amino acids, ligands, lysomes, etc. etc. Biology at its basic chemical levels, will show you that this is not an infectious organism. It is poisoning caused by imbalances and excesses.

One of Dr. David Brown's papers shows how, after mice were injected with Rocky Mountain Laboratory scrapie prions, the mice had elevated levels of manganese in their blood, brain, and liver. Copper was chelated out of the brain and copper levels rose in the liver, but dropped everywhere else.

Pre-mortom tests should be capable of detecting the elevated levels of manganese in the blood. Or other metals, perhaps?

If you are concerned about carriers, you are probably one yourself. Aging takes place because proteins are folding improperly and our body is unable to produce healthy normal proteins as it did when we were younger. Damage to our DNA is constant.

Dolly the sheep, remember her. She had the cells of a six year old sheep at birth. Somehow cloning cannot stop the cell's life clock. She died of diseases common in much older sheep.

Have some faith in God, and if you are really concerned about CWD and BSE in your area, ensure your animals are getting adequate supplies of copper in their diet. And test your feed, soil, water for metals and nutrients. Well water in our area has been shown to contain up to 700 parts per billion of manganese. I was just told that the USDA recommended maximum level for manganese in drinking water is 50 ppb. Huge difference here. But our government has no suck limitations or recommendations.

It is a common practice in Canada to spread the drilling mud from Oil and Gas rigs on the farm or pasture lands near where the well is being drilled. Don't let them spread it on your land. It could be placing some very bad metals on the surface that will definitely effect your cattle herds health. A southern AB ranchers cattle developed wasting disease after licking concrete/ and pipes that came out of a gas well and were lying on the ground. He won his case in court. Barium and other products caused Wasting Disease in his cattle very similar to deer and elk.

Avoid the use of organophosphates. Phosmet is also called IMIDAN in the USA. I have read it is used to kill Alfalfa weevils by spreading on the grass stand. Don't expose your cattle to this. Of course, wild deer and elk cannot be stopped from grazing on lands that have been recently treated with any type of chemical.

I am told many insecticide sprays contain products like aspartane, to make them more tasty(sweet) to the intended bug. This will also entice wild herbivores to consume the crop after insecticide application. These products are killing the bugs, what do you think they are doing to anything else that eats it, including humans.

Everyone is concerned about testing for BSE, CWD, but don't forget the testing that is going on now that is showing PCBs, dioxins, furadans, etc. etc. chemicals that are showing up in our own breastmilk, fats, and blood.

Don't blame the cow for having residues, don't blame the grain or water for the residues. Man sprays this ****, Man buys it and applies it to the land. Keep its use to a bare minimum if you can.

I may not have answered you questions, but time will make us all wiser. I am sharing these thoughts with you so that we can help each other.
Can't say how much I appreciate your thoughts. Colaborating research and thoughts seems to me to be a real help in paring our way through a very difficult concept. We are probably in the very infancy of understanding this mechanism and it's ramifications. However, as research provides new incites into the process and transmission, your commentary and inpute are a valuable asset the industry. Thanks for the input.
Hold your horses there reader.

Brown and Purdey have stated that there is something in the feed that could be causing TSEs; but this does not mean that BSE is causing vCJD (at least not by the consumption of prions).

Iatrogenic transmission is another story and requires better investigation, although the UK government claims the risks are small and acceptable.

I can't believe you stated "regardless of the ultimate cause of misfolded prions".

You may not care what causes the misfolding, but I sure as heck do. Transmission of these diseases between people via iatrogenic means such as vaccines, growth hormones... is important; but cancer also can be transmitted if you homogenate lung cancer tumors and inject them into another mouse's lungs. Are you equally concerned about that?

I don't want to appear to be minimizing your efforts. If simple nutrition can prevent this disease from happening, I would rather see people spending money on quality food, than on buying drugs from the big pharmaceuticals that only treat the symptoms.

As I have said in the past, there is more than enough research money going towards tests and procedures to handle SRMs etc. There is very little, to no money, going to what causes the misfolding and the prevention of the misfolding. The families of the vCJD victims in the UK have asked for more open-ness and research on this matter (you posted the news article). Why is this successful treatment (stopping the progression of the disease) being kept in the dark?

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