Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds

William David Walter, Daniel P. Walsh, Matthew L. Farnsworth, Dana L. Winkelman, Michael W. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental factors-especially soil properties-have been suggested as potentially important in the transmission of infectious prion diseases. Because binding to montmorillonite (an aluminosilicate clay mineral) or clay-enriched soils had been shown to enhance experimental prion transmissibility, we hypothesized that prion transmission among mule deer might also be enhanced in ranges with relatively high soil clay content. In this study, we report apparent influences of soil clay content on the odds of prion infection in free-ranging deer. Analysis of data from prion-infected deer herds in northern Colorado, USA, revealed that a 1% increase in the clay-sized particle content in soils within the approximate home range of an individual deer increased its odds of infection by up to 8.9%. Our findings suggest that soil clay content and related environmental properties deserve greater attention in assessing risks of prion disease outbreaks and prospects for their control in both natural and production settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature communications
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 25 2011

Fingerprint

Prions
infectious diseases
deer
clays
soils
Deer
Soil
Soils
Infection
Prion Diseases
Homing Behavior
Bentonite
Infectious Disease Transmission
Equidae
montmorillonite
Clay minerals
Disease Outbreaks
Minerals
clay
minerals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Walter, W. D., Walsh, D. P., Farnsworth, M. L., Winkelman, D. L., & Miller, M. W. (2011). Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds. Nature communications, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1203
Walter, William David ; Walsh, Daniel P. ; Farnsworth, Matthew L. ; Winkelman, Dana L. ; Miller, Michael W. / Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds. In: Nature communications. 2011 ; Vol. 2, No. 1.
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Walter, WD, Walsh, DP, Farnsworth, ML, Winkelman, DL & Miller, MW 2011, 'Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds', Nature communications, vol. 2, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1203

Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds. / Walter, William David; Walsh, Daniel P.; Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Winkelman, Dana L.; Miller, Michael W.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 2, No. 1, 25.02.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Walter WD, Walsh DP, Farnsworth ML, Winkelman DL, Miller MW. Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds. Nature communications. 2011 Feb 25;2(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1203