RT-QuIC detection of CWD prion seeding activity in white-tailed deer muscle tissues

Manci Li, Marc D Schwabenlander, Gage Rowden, Christopher S. Jennelle, Jeremy M Schefers, Michelle Carstensen, Davis Seelig, Peter Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease circulating in wild and farmed cervid populations throughout North America (United States and Canada), Europe (Finland, Norway, Sweden), and South Korea. CWD is a long-term threat to all cervid populations and to cervid hunting heritage, with the potential to cause substantial economic losses across multiple sectors. In North America, hunting and farming industries focused on the processing and consumption of white-tailed deer (WTD) venison are particularly vulnerable to CWD prion contamination, as millions of WTD are consumed annually. Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) is a highly sensitive assay amplifying misfolded CWD prions in vitro and has facilitated CWD prion detection in a variety of tissues and excreta. To date, no study has comprehensively examined CWD prion content across bulk skeletal muscle tissues harvested from individual CWD infected WTD. Here, we use RT-QuIC to characterize prion-seeding activity in a variety of skeletal muscles from both wild and farmed CWD-positive WTD. We successfully detected CWD prions in muscles commonly used for consumption (e.g., backstrap, tenderloin, etc.) as well as within tongue and neck samples of WTD. Our results suggest that CWD prions are distributed across the skeletal muscles of infected WTD. We posit that RT-QuIC will be a useful tool for monitoring CWD prions in venison and that the method (with additional protocol optimization and high-throughput functionality) could be used to reduce and/or prevent CWD prions from entering animal and human food chains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16759
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank NIH Rocky Mountain Labs, especially Byron Caughey, Andrew Hughson, and Christina Orru for training and assistance with the implementation of RT-QuIC. We thank Fred Schendel, Tom Douville, and the staff of the University of Minnesota Biotechnology Resource Center for critical support with respect to the large-scale production of recombinant proteins. Evan Kipp and Suzanne Stone provided key assistance with laboratory techniques and logistics. We thank Lon Hebl for graciously providing access to animals housed at the Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo. We are grateful to the following persons for their assistance with the collection of biological samples used herein: MNDNR Wildlife staff (especially Erik Hildebrand, Patrick Hagen, Kelsie LaSharr, and Margaret Dexter), Roxanne J. Larsen, Negin Goodarzi, Devender Kumar, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services staff, and University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab Necropsy staff, especially Melissa Wolfe. The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute provided secure data storage of computational products stemming from our work. Funding was provided by the Minnesota State Legislature through the Minnesota Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Rapid Agricultural Response Fund, University of Minnesota Office of Vice President for Research, and start-up funds awarded to PAL through the Minnesota Agricultural, Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer (AGREETT) program. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provided funding for the staff needed to collect biological samples from wild deer and the costs for official CWD testing. Figure 3 was organized and partially created using BioRender (biorender.com).

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by the Minnesota State Legislature through the Minnesota Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR; awarded to PAL and DS), Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Rapid Agricultural Response Fund (awarded to PAL and DS), University of Minnesota Office of Vice President for Research (awarded to PAL), and start-up funds awarded to PAL through the Minnesota Agricultural, Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer (AGREETT) program. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'RT-QuIC detection of CWD prion seeding activity in white-tailed deer muscle tissues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this