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From: TSS ()
Subject: CWD Update 90 March 7, 2008
Date: March 18, 2008 at 11:52 am PST

CWD Update 90

March 7, 2008

State and Provincial Updates


Alberta Sustainable Resource Development has published updated information
on disease
distribution and management activities. The new flyer is at:


Paul Shelton, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, provides the
following: Ongoing
surveillance for the presence of chronic wasting disease in wild deer in
Illinois last fall and this
winter has detected 24 deer testing positive for CWD. The IDNR has received
results on tests of
more than 4,100 deer which were harvested by hunters or taken by IDNR
personnel as part of the
2007-08 deer season sampling program. The testing has identified the first
positive case of CWD
from Stephenson County in northern Illinois. The other most recent cases of
CWD were found in
deer from Boone (7 deer), DeKalb (6) and Winnebago (10) counties. Results
are still pending on
more than 2,000 additional samples collected since last fall. The first case
of CWD detected in
Stephenson County came from a 2.5 year old female deer taken west of
Freeport. IDNR staff are
collecting additional samples from deer in Stephenson County to determine if
other sick deer are
present. The IDNR began more intensive sampling of deer for chronic wasting
disease after the
first deer with CWD were found in Boone and Winnebago counties in 2002.
Since then, Illinois
has recorded a total of 213 deer positive for the disease in Winnebago (89
deer), Boone (82),
DeKalb (22), McHenry (16), Ogle (2), LaSalle (1) and Stephenson (1)
counties. CWD is a fatal
neurological disease found in deer and elk. It is not known to be contagious
to livestock or
humans. Illinois DNR CWD information is at:


Ruby Mosher, Wildlife Veterinarian with Kansas Department of Wildlife &
Parks, provides the
following: Three white-tailed deer taken by hunters in Decatur County have
tested positive for
chronic wasting disease (CWD). Initial screening tests performed by Kansas
State Veterinary
Diagnostic Laboratory have been confirmed by the National Veterinary
Services Laboratory in
Ames, Iowa. All three deer were taken by hunters along Sappa Creek in
central Decatur County,
north of Oberlin, which is in the northwest corner of the state. CWD has
been detected twice
previously in Kansas. The first case was in 2001 in a captive elk herd in
Harper County. The
other occurred during the 2005 hunting season in a wild whitetail doe
harvested in Cheyenne
County. Wildlife biologists from Kansas and Nebraska plan to sample more
deer in the vicinity
in February to help determine the prevalence of the disease in the area.
Additional details at:

Kansas (part 2):

Ruby Mosher, Wildlife Veterinarian with Kansas Department of Wildlife &
Parks, provides the
following: Tissue samples from deer collected earlier this month in Decatur
County all have
tested negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD). After three deer taken by
hunters in that
area during the 2007 hunting season tested positive for the disease, KDWP
biologists collected
an additional 39 deer in Decatur County Feb. 11 through 13. Screening tests
performed by
Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on those 39 samples yielded
results that KDWP
and Decatur County hunters and landowners wanted to hear: no additional
positive results for the
disease. Additional details at:

New York:

John Major, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, provides the
following: In
New York State, efforts continued with CWD surveillance through sampling of
hunter killed
deer statewide and mandatory check of hunter killed deer and collection of
vehicle killed deer in
the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area. Despite testing over 7,400
deer, including
1,400 deer from the CWD Containment Area from April 1, 2007 through January
22, 2008, no
new cases were detected (a few additional samples will be collected through
the end of our
sample year ending March 31). CWD surveillance began in New York in 2002,
with increased
efforts in 2005 after the disease was detected in 5 captive and 2 wild deer
in Oneida County.
Since 2002, over 26,200 samples have been collected throughout the state,
including 5,300
samples from the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area, with no
additional positives
found. The involved captive facilities were depopulated within weeks of the
initial discovery.
Regulations prohibiting the feeding of wild deer and restricting the import
and movement of live
animals and carcasses remain in effect. New York Department of Environmental
CWD information is at:
As part of an effort to reevaluate CWD management in Wisconsin, the
Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources utilized a public participation process to gather public
input. Information
about the Stakeholder Advisory Group, including their final report and a
subsequent rule
proposal, are at:

Meeting Announcement

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Workshop

CWD Response Programs: Efficacy and Recommendations

Aug 8-9, 2008, Edmonton, Alberta

Co-hosted by Alberta Fish and Wildlife and Saskatchewan Ministry of
The workshop is timed to immediately follow the 2008 Annual Conference of
the Wildlife
Disease Association, August 3-8 in Edmonton. The goal of the workshop is to
provide an
overview of wildlife agency programs designed and delivered in response to
findings of CWD in
wild cervids in different jurisdictions in Canada and USA. The workshop will
examine the
current programs, their success and failures, and offer some collective
recommendations for
future CWD response planning and programs. There will be a CDN$30
registration fee for the
workshop. Additional information is at:

Recent Publications

Organic polyanions act as complexants of prion protein in soil

Maurizio Polanoa, Claudio Anselmia, Liviana Leitad, Alessandro Negroe and
Maria De Nobili
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 367:2 (2008) 323-329.
Abstract: The persistence of prions, the causative agents of transmissible
encephalopathies, in soil constitutes an environmental concern and
substantial challenge.
Experiments and theoretical modeling indicate that a particular class of
natural polyanions
diffused in soils and waters, generally referred to as humic substances
(HSs), can participate in
the adsorption of prions in soil in a non-specific way, mostly driven by
electrostatic interactions
and hydrogen bond networks among humic acid molecules and exposed polar
protein residues.
Adsorption of HSs on clay surface strongly raises the adsorption capacity vs
proteins suggesting
new experiments in order to verify if this raises or lowers the prion

Comparison of retropharyngeal lymph node and obex region of the brainstem in
of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Delwyn Keane, Daniel Barr, Jason Keller, Mark Hall, Julie Langenberg and
Philip Bochsler
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation Vol. 20 Issue 1, 58-60.
Abstract: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wisconsin was first identified in
February 2002.
By April 2005, medial retropharyngeal lymph node (RLN) tissues had been
examined from over
75,000 white-tailed deer for the presence of CWD by either
immunohistochemical (IHC)
staining for the prion protein associated with CWD (PrPres) or by using
immunosorbent assays with confirmation of positives by IHC staining and had
been detected in
469 animals. Obex tissue was also available from 438 of the CWD-positive
animals and was
CWD positive by IHC staining in 355 (81%). To verify whether false-negative
results were
possible examining only RLN, both obex and RLN samples were examined for CWD
by IHC
staining from 4,430 of the white-tailed deer harvested from an area in
Wisconsin where the
overall deer CWD prevalence was approximately 6.2%. Two hundred and fourteen
of the 269
positive deer (79.6%) had deposits of PrPres in both obex and lymphoid
tissues, 55 (20.4%) had
deposits only in lymphoid tissue, and there were no deer that had deposits
only in obex.

Sampling considerations for disease surveillance in wildlife populations

Sarah Nusser, William Clark, David Otis and Ling Huang
Journal of Wildlife Management 72(1):52–60; 2008.
Abstract: Disease surveillance in wildlife populations involves detecting
the presence of a
disease, characterizing its prevalence and spread, and subsequent
monitoring. A probability
sample of animals selected from the population and corresponding estimators
of disease
prevalence and detection provide estimates with quantifiable statistical
properties, but this
approach is rarely used. Although wildlife scientists often assume
probability sampling and
random disease distributions to calculate sample sizes, convenience samples
(i.e., samples of
readily available animals) are typically used, and disease distributions are
rarely random. We
demonstrate how landscape-based simulation can be used to explore properties
of estimators
from convenience samples in relation to probability samples. We used
simulation methods to
model what is known about the habitat preferences of the wildlife
population, the disease
distribution, and the potential biases of the convenience-sample approach.
Using chronic wasting
disease in free-ranging deer (Odocoileus virginianus) as a simple
illustration, we show that using
probability sample designs with appropriate estimators provides unbiased
surveillance parameter
estimates but that the selection bias and coverage errors associated with
convenience samples
can lead to biased and misleading results. We also suggest practical
alternatives to convenience
samples that mix probability and convenience sampling. For example, a sample
of land areas can
be selected using a probability design that oversamples areas with larger
animal populations,
followed by harvesting of individual animals within sampled areas using a
convenience sampling

Alternative feeding strategies and potential disease transmission in
Wisconsin white-tailed

Abbey Thompson, Michael Samuel and Timothy VanDeelen

Journal of Wildlife Management 72(2):416–421; 2008.

Abstract: We conducted experimental feeding using 3 feeding methods (pile,
spread, trough)
and 2 quantities (rationed, ad libitum) of shelled corn to compare deer
activity and behavior with
control sites and evaluate potential direct and indirect transmission of
infectious disease in whitetailed
deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in central Wisconsin, USA. Deer use was higher
at 2 of the
feeding sites than at natural feeding areas (P <= 0.02). Deer spent a higher
proportion of time (P
< 0.01) feeding at pile (49%) and spread (61%) treatments than at natural
feeding areas (36%).
We found higher deer use for rationed than ad libitum feeding quantities and
feeding intensity
was greatest at rationed piles and lowest at ad libitum spreads. We also
observed closer pairwise
distances (<= 0.3 m) among deer when corn was provided in a trough relative
to spread (P =
0.03). Supplemental feeding poses risks for both direct and indirect disease
transmission due to
higher deer concentration and more intensive use relative to control areas.
Concentrated feeding
and contact among deer at feeding sites can also increase risk for disease
transmission. Our
results indicated that restrictions on feeding quantity would not mitigate
the potential for disease
transmission. None of the feeding strategies we evaluated substantially
reduced the potential risk
for disease transmission and banning supplemental feeding to reduce
transmission is warranted.


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