Chronic Wasting Disease Possibly Transmissible To Humans, Study Suggest

Former Wildlife Official Emphasizes Preliminary Nature Of Research


A forthcoming study shows that chronic wasting disease may be able to infect humans.

A team of researchers from universities in the United States and France say they’ve found new evidence that it’s possible for humans to contract the agents that cause CWD. They injected mice, whose DNA had been modified to resemble humans, with mutated proteins called prions. Testing showed two out of 20 mice tested positive for prion infection.

But former Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Member Dave Clausen advised the results are not cause for alarm.

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“This study does not mean that human infection is a foregone conclusion,” Clausen said. “All it does is demonstrate that it is possible.”

Clausen said more research is needed, but the results show that hunters in CWD zones should take the disease seriously. The Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health Services did not respond to requests for comment on this story.