Data Supports Spiroplasma

It is a remarkable fact that almost all the data used to support the prion concept is conjecture. It is unfortunately the case that the wrong science is being used to address the CWD panzootic.

What follows are numerous lines of evidence supporting the role of an extreme thermo-acidophilic bacterium (spiroplasma sp.) in the pathogenesis of chronic wasting disease and the other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (with references).

  • spiroplasma identified by TEM in CJD brain tissues (Ref 1 & 2)
  • spiroplasma in aqueous fluid of sheep with terminal scrapie (Ref 9) 
  • experimentally spiroplasma-infected animal model (Ref 3 & 4)
  • spiroplasma induces spongiform encephalopathy (Ref 3 & 4)


  • clinical evidence of brain stem lesions (Ref 8)

  • morphological evidence of brain stem lesion (Ref 8)


  • morphological evidence of brain stem lesion (Ref 8)

  • localization to eyes- retinopathy (Ref 9)


  • culture of spiroplasma from CWD & TSE-affected tissues (Ref 7 & 12)

  • passage in embryonated eggs (Ref 7)


  • growth on agar with formation of subsurface plaques (Ref 12)

  • identical biological characteristics of transmissible TSE agent as shown by enumeration of subsurface plaques on agar (Ref 13) 


  • reaction scrapie hyperimmune sera with spiroplasma fibrils (Ref 5) 

  • ELISA reaction spiroplasma recombinant HSP60 with CJD sera (Ref 14) 


  • formation of alpha synuclein in spiroplasma mirum infected mammalian tissue culture

  • normal prion protein isoform on cell surface is receptor for bacterium-explains interaction of prion with spiroplasma

  1. Bastian FO: Spiroplasma-like inclusions in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Arch Pathol Lab Med l979;103:665-669.
  2. Bastian FO, Hart MN, Cancilla PA: Additional evidence of Spiroplasma in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Lancet l981;1(8221):660.
  3. Bastian FO, Purnell DM, Tully JG: Neuropathology of spiroplasma infection in the rat brain. Amer J Pathol l984;114(3):496-514.
  4. Tully JG, Bastian FO, Rose DL: Localization and Persistence of Spiroplasma in an Experimental Brain Infection in Suckling Rats. Ann Microbiol (Inst Pasteur) 84;135A:111-117.
  5. Bastian FO, Jennings R, Gardner W: Antiserum to Scrapie Associated Fibril Protein Cross-Reacts with Spiroplasma mirum Fibril Proteins. J Clin Microbiol l987;25(12):2430-2431.
  6. Bastian FO, Jennings R, Huff C: Neurotropic Response of Spiroplasma mirum following peripheral inoculation in the rat. Ann Microbiol (Inst Pasteur) 1987;138(6):651.
  7. Bastian FO, Dash S, Garry R. Linking chronic wasting disease to scrapie by comparison of Spiroplasma mirum ribosomal DNA sequences. Exp Mol Pathol 2004;77:48-56.
  8. Bastian FO, Sanders DE, Forbes WA, Hagius SD, Walker JV, Henk WG, Enright FM, Elzer PH. Spiroplasma spp. from TSE Brains or Ticks Induce Spongiform Encephalopathy in Ruminants. J Med Microbiol, 2007; 56: 1235-1242.
  9. Bastian FO, Boudreaux C, Hagius SD, Sorensen S, Bulgin M, Enright FM, Elzer PH. Spiroplasma found in eyes of scrapie affected sheep. Veterinary Ophthalmology (2011) 14, 1, 10–17
  10. Bastian FO, Elzer PH, Wu X (2012) Spiroplasma spp. biofilm formation is instrumental for their role in the pathogenesis of plant, insect and animal diseases. Exp Mol Pathol 93: 116-128.
  11. Bastian FO. (2014) The case for involvement of spiroplasma in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 73: 104-114
  12. Bastian FO, Lynch J, Hagius S, Wu X, McCormick G, Luther DG, Elzer PH.(2018) Novel Spiroplasma Spp. Cultured From Brains and Lymph NodesFrom Ruminants Affected With Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. J Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, 77: 64-73.
  13. Bastian FO, Lynch J, Wang W-H. Novel Spiroplasma sp. Isolated From CWD Is an Extreme Bacterial Thermoacidophile That Survives Autoclaving, Boiling, Formalin Treatment, and Significant Gamma Irradiation. J Neuropath Exp Neurol 2019 IN PRESS
  14. US 7,888,039 B2 Feb. 15, 2011