Elk Hoof Disease Likely Causes Systemic Changes

Elk treponeme-associated hoof disease, previously thought to be limited to deformations in elks’ hooves, appears to create molecular changes throughout the animal’s system, according to epigenetic research from Washington State University (WSU). The findings, published September 16, 2023 in the journal Scientific Reports, also suggest those changes may be heritable. It remains to be seen though whether this means subsequent generations of elk may be more, or less, prone to catching the devastating disease that severely impairs the elk’s ability to find food and escape predators. The open-access article is titled “Systemic Epigenome-Wide Association Study of Elk Treponeme-Associated Hoof Disease.”

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