Diseases / Miscellaneous / Multi-factorial / Metabolic Diseases / Chronic Wasting Disease of Deer and Elk / Detailed Disease Description:

< > Literature Reports of MORTALITY RATE for CWD of Deer and Elk:

Mortality Rate (Percentage of the Species Population that die)

Editorial Summary (Editorial Overview Text Replicated on Overall Disease page - CWD of Deer and Elk)
  • It is expected that 100% of clinically affected individuals will die from CWD.

Limited data on other TSE diseases is provided in literature reports below the information on CWD. Information on these diseases within the "Chronic Wasting Disease of Deer and Elk" volume of Wildpro is provided for comparative purposes and is not intended to be comprehensive.

Source Information CWD of Deer and Elk
  • This disease is invariably fatal once clinical signs have developed. (N8.18.w8, P10.67.w1, D119)
  • This disease is considered to be invariably fatal once clinical signs have developed. (J64.21.w17)

Odocoileus hemionus - Mule deer:

  • 100% of clinically affected individuals. Deer in captive wildlife research facilities in Colorado and Wyoming. (P2.29.w1, J1.16.w10)
  • 100% of clinically affected animals died or euthanased, with a morbidity of about 90% at one facility (Fort Collins) in Colorado, for the period 1970-1981; the same mortality with a similar level of morbidity was seen at other facilities in Colorado and Wyoming). (J64.11.w3)
  • From 1974 to 1985 greater than 90% of deer residing in the facility in Colorado for longer than 2 years died of CWD. (P1.1985.w1)

Cervus elaphus nelsoni - Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus - Red deer):

  • All six affected individuals were eventually euthanased. Individuals in captive wildlife research facilities in Colorado and Wyoming. (J1.18.w7)

Other TSE Diseases

  • The TSE diseases are all fatal neurodegenerative diseases. (J135.99S4.w1)
  • "All infections [of TSE diseases] result in death of the species in which they occur." (J2.34.w1)

Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy

Mustela vison - American mink:

  • Mortality (and morbidity) of 99-100% in 1947, 10-30% in 1961 and 100% in 1963; all affected animals died. Data from three epizootics on eight or nine mink farms in Wisconsin, USA in 1947, 1961 and 1963. (J100.115.w1)
  • All affected animals died. About 60% of the total adults were affected. (J223.72.w1)
  • All animals affected during an outbreak die. (J64.11.w5)

Bos taurus - Domestic cattle:

  • Clinical fatal disease in both animals following intracerebral inoculation of mink brain affected by the Stetsonville strain of TME into two six-week-old Holstein bull calves. (J223.72.w1)

Domestic ferret Mustela putorius fero (Mustela putorius - Polecat):

  • Progressive neurological disease in 7/8 individuals following intracerebral inoculation of mink brain affected by the Stetsonville strain of TME into adults. (J223.72.w1)

Procyon lotor - Common Raccoon:

  • Following intracerebral inoculation with Wisconsin isolate TME agent, clinical signs developed in three of four animals and following oral inoculation with Wisconsin isolate TME agent, clinical signs developed in one of two animals; infection resulting in the development of clinical signs was always fatal. (J1.9.w2)

Mephitis mephitis - Striped skunk (Mustelidae - Weasels (Family)):

  • Following intracerebral inoculation with Wisconsin isolate TME agent, fatal clinical signs developed in one of two animals; the second animal was found dead 13 months post inoculation (cause of death unclear) and necropsy revealed CNS lesions of spongiform encephalopathy. (J1.9.w2)

Mesocricetus auratus - Golden Hamster:

  • Following intracerebral inoculation of mink brain affected by the Stetsonville strain of TME into weanlings, disease developed in 15/16 animals. (J223.72.w1)

Saimiri sciurius - Squirrel monkey (Cebidae - New-world monkeys (Family)):

  • Following intracerebral inoculation of mink brain affected by the Stetsonville strain of TME into two adults, fatal disease developed in both animals. (J223.72.w1)
  • Following intracerebral and either intravenous or intraperitoneal inoculation of infected brain material into three adults, fatal neurological disease developed in all three animals. (J22.169.w1)

Capra hircus - Domestic goat:

  • Following intracerebral inoculation with the Idaho strain of TME, neurological disease developed in 9/19 goats. All clinically affected animals were euthanased when unable to stand. (J240.51.w1)
    • On first and second passage morbidity (and mortality) was 100%. (J240.51.w1)

Ovis aries - Domestic sheep:

  • Following intracerebral inoculation with the Idaho strain of TME, neurological disease developed in 5/20 sheep. All clinically affected animals died or were euthanased when near to death. (J240.51.w1)

Scrapie:

  • Case fatality rate of 100%. (B207)
  • Within a flock the annual mortality rate due to scrapie may be low, e.g. 3-5%, or higher, e.g. 10-20%. (J64.11.w4)

Ovis aries - Domestic sheep

  • The true incidence within a flock may be difficult to assess. In some flocks the annual mortality may be 3-5%, in others an incidence of 10-20% may be seen. (J64.11.w4)
  • Incidence of infection in a flock of sheep is variable and may change over time for a given flock. (J234.14.w1)
  • In Iceland within-flock mortality varied from rare cases only to 3-5% annual mortality to 30% or higher annual mortality of adult sheep. In general within-flock incidence is low in the first years after the disease is introduced then increases. (B292.w16)

Capra hircus - Domestic goat:

  •  In three herds in Italy, 28%, 60% and 5.5%. (J3.143.w6)

Mustela vison - American mink:

  • Following experimental intracranial infection, development of fatal disease in in 5/5 mink inoculated with brain material from a scrapie-affected Suffolk sheep, but no disease during 20 months of observation in 5/5 mink inoculated with brain material from a scrapie-affected Cheviot sheep. (J22.172.w1)

Cervus elaphus nelsoni - Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus - Red deer):

  • Following experimental infection by intracerebral inoculation of elk calves with scrapie brain, development of fatal neurological disease in two of six animals. (J26.40.w1)

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE):

  • Case fatality rate of 100% in cattle. (B207)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD):

  • Progressive fatal disease. (B247, B292.w7)
  • Invariably fatal neurodegenerative disease. (J107.58.w1)

New variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD):

  • The TSE diseases are all fatal neurodegenerative diseases. (J135.99S4.w1)

Kuru:

  • Invariably fatal disease in affected individuals. In one village estimated to affect about 10% of the population over a period of three years. Mortality reduced from 1960 to 1970 reflecting the cessation of ritual cannibalism in the affected peoples. (B292.w6)
  • For clinical cases, 100% fatality. Death of 1% of the Fore population per year at the peak incidence. (B298.15.w15)

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Authors & Referees

Authors Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
Referee Suzanne I Boardman BVMS MRCVS (V.w6)

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