Novel Spiroplasma sp. Isolated From CWD Is an Extreme Bacterial Thermoacidophile That Survives Autoclaving, Boiling, Formalin Treatment, and Significant Gamma Irradiation
Rapid spreading of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wildlife and captive cervid populations has exposed lack of progress in deal- ing with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) of man and animals. Since the TSE transmissible agent was resistant to extremes in environmental and chemical treatments, focus was on an unconventional agent including the prion theory. Recent break- through research has revealed consistent isolation of a novel Spiro- plasma sp. from TSE-affected tissues that propagates in cell-free media and on agar. Here, we developed a live culture assay to test whether the CWD spiroplasma isolate possessed unconventional bi- ologic properties akin to those of the transmissible agent of TSE.