Last night I had an opportunity for an exclusive interview with Dr. Frank O. Bastian, the neuropathologist at the Louisiana State University Ag Center who has found a link between a spiroplasma bacteria and Chronic Wasting Disease (and other TSE diseases). The spiroplasma bacteria is present in all cases of TSE diseases, but the prion is not. Therefore, he views the bacteria as the infectious agent, and not the prion.
In our hour-long conversation I learned that Dr. Bastian is very down-to-earth, helpful, and vitally concerned about the transmission of TSE diseases. His breakthrough research has recently found a way to culture the bacteria so that study of these terrible diseases can accelerate along a new line. To say this has major implications for research is an understatement.
Until now, virtually all funding for TSE research has been aimed at the prion theory of the disease. However, the prions cannot be cultivated or replicated, which is necessary if a cure is to be found or if research is to advance. With Dr. Bastian's discovery of a way to cultivate and replicate the bacteria, research funding needs to be retargeted. Dr. Bastian doesn't care about the credit for solving the CWD/TSE puzzle, only that it is solved because so much is at stake not only in the world of wildlife, but in many human neurological diseases.
Read my article at the Deer and Deer Hunting website: Bacteria and CWD Cure: Dr. Bastian Speaks.