Three captive Shira's moose (Alces alces shirasi) were orally inoculated with a single dose (5 g) of whole-brain homogenate prepared from chronic wasting disease (CWD)–affected mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). All moose died of causes thought to be other than CWD. Histologic examination of one female moose dying 465 days postinoculation revealed spongiform change in the neuropil, typical of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Immunohistochemistry staining for the proteinase-resistant isoform of the prion protein was observed in multiple lymphoid and nervous tissues. Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays provided additional confirmation of CWD. These results represent the first report of experimental CWD in moose.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3