2002 Volume 64 Issue 9 Pages 855-858
A seven-year-old male elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) was euthanized and necropsied after having a 3-week history of body weight loss, emaciation, excessive salivation, teeth grinding, fever, anorexia, and respiratory distress. The elk was imported into Korea from Canada on March 9, 1997. Gross pathologic findings were restricted to a diffuse fibrinous pneumonia. Microscopic lesions included mild neuronal vacuolation and spongiform change in the neuropil of selected brain stem nuclei and generalized astrocytosis. Immunohistochemistry for protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) was positive in all brain sections but more pronounced in the section of the obex of the medulla. And the PrPres was also detected by western immunoblotting in the brain and spinal cord. All the remaining elk and deer that had been in contact with this elk were destroyed and negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD). To our knowledge, this is the first case of CWD occurring outside of the U.S.A. and Canada.