|TSE||Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy , a group of incurable fatal diseases. Some are contagious. Almost always species-specific. TSE's are very different from generally understood diseases (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic).|
|Prion||A malformed or "misfolded" protein with the ability to cause healthy proteins to similarly malform. They are the agent responsible for TSEs. Their method of infection sidesteps immune functions.|
|BSE (Mad Cow)||Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Also known as Mad Cow disease. A TSE that affects cattle. Unique among TSEs in that it jumped from its host species to humans. Not contagious through contact or soil, but is transferred through the consumption of bone, brain and nervous tissues from an infected animal. Some of these tissues were commonly included in commercial livestock feed before the disease was understood. Changes in the animal feed industry and meat processing practices have nearly elimintated BSE.|
|CJD||Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease [ˈkroits-felt ˈyah-kawp] , the human TSE. Afflicts about 1 of every million humans worldwide. Average age for symptoms to appear is 68. The USA has about 200 CJD fatalities annually. Not contagious.|
|vCJD||Variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease. This is the label scientists assign to BSE when it jumps species to infect a human. A couple of hundred people worldwide have died of vCJD since an outbreak that was mostly concentrated in Britain, where it killed 28 humans at its peak in 2000. The average age for symptoms to appear is 26. Consumption of BSE infected beef products - likely those contaminated by nervous system tissue - is thought to be the cause. Only 4 cases of vCJD have ever been found in the US, each believed to have been contracted overseas. vCJD has been nearly eliminated as a result of progress against BSE, and new processing practices which exclude nervous tissues from meat products.|
|Scrapie||A contagious TSE of domestic sheep and goats. First documented in England nearly 300 years ago but only recently identified as a TSE.|
|Cervid||An animal from the taxonomic family "cervidae". Whitetail, Mule deer, Elk, Moose and Caribou are cervids native to North America. Some non-native cervids commercially raised in North America are Reindeer, Red Deer (often crossbred with elk), Sika Deer, Axis Deer and Fallow Deer.|
Chronic Wasting Disease. A contagious TSE affecting cervids. Transmissible primarily via animal to animal contact. Also via soil contaminated by the saliva, urine, feces and eventually the carcasses of infected cervids. Contaminated soil remains infectious for many years, the exact duration not yet known. Though TSE's specific to a few domesticated or confined species have been documented, CWD is the only contagious TSE known to spread among wild free ranging animals anywhere in the world. There are several dozen cervid species around the world, but CWD has so far only been detected in the US, Canada, an isolated infection in South Korean resulting from the importation of infected breeding stock from North American game farms, and in 2016 found in Norway in wild Reindeer and Moose.
|Captive Cervid Industry||An industry involving the trade in and confinement of privately owned cervids such as deer and elk behind escape resistant fencing for breeding, shooting and other purposes.|
A word often appearing in research, describing a disease which can transmit from animals to humans.