Disease of Deer Information

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), evidence indicates the disease may have originated in Fort Collins, Colorado, during the 1960's when wild deer were penned in a research facility next to sheep from a scrapie project, a related prion disease.  Deer at the facility showed signs of the illness in 1967.  CWD was first identified in 1978 at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Sybile Research Unit at Wheatland, a facility that had traded deer with Fort Collins. The disease has spread from these locations.  This article identifies sheep as the most likely source.  Recently discovered in Norway, concluded to have resulted from the transport of deer.  Chronic Wasting Disease—Research by the U.S. Geological Survey and Partners 

Research

... By comparing the conversion efficiency of CWD in a second PMCA round, we observed that CWD prions from North American cervids were able to successfully convert human PrPC. The best results were obtained with white-tailed deer, mule deer and to a lower extent with elk ...

... Several Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives are calling for the president of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to resign over his handling of chronic wasting disease...  first discovered in a farmed deer in Minnesota in 2002 and a wild animal in 2010 ...

... chronic wasting disease (CWD) ...  We compared the disease phenotype of sheep-adapted CWD to classical scrapie in sheep. We inoculated sheep intracranially with brain homogenate from first-passage mule deer CWD in sheep ... Our data suggest that the phenotype of CWD in sheep is indistinguishable from some strains of scrapie in sheep ...

... we have tested a more easily accessed specimen, ear pinna punches, using an improved RT-QuIC assay involving iron oxide magnetic extraction to detect CWD infections in asymptomatic mule and white-tailed deer... 
These results provide evidence that RT-QuIC analysis of ear pinna punches may be a useful approach to detecting CWD infections in cervids...

Hunting Pressure Modulates Prion Infection Risk in Mule Deer Herds, 2020 Colorado,  Journal of Wildlife Diseases In-Press.
... Across 12 areas in Colorado studied between 2002−2018, those with the largest declines in annual hunting license numbers (pressure) showed the largest increases in the proportion of infected adult (≥2–yr-old) male deer killed by hunters (prevalence); prevalence trends were comparatively flat in most areas where license numbers had been maintained or increased... Our findings suggest that harvesting mule deer with sufficient hunting pressure might control chronic wasting disease—especially when prevalence is low ..,

... We orally inoculated white-tailed deer with either single or multiple divided doses of prions ...These studies suggest that the CWD minimum infectious dose approximates 100 to 300 ng CWD-positive brain (or saliva equivalent), and that CWD infection appears to conform more with a threshold than a cumulative dose dynamic...

... Reindeer carrying at least one allele encoding for asparagine (138NN or 138SN) are less susceptible to clinical CWD upon infection by natural routes, with the majority of prions limited to extraneural tissues...

...  recently published the results of a pilot study in Nature ... If successful, they will have developed the first effective oral vaccine against anthrax for wildlife. “The preliminary results showed that this concept has potential, so now we are starting up a deer study ...

JK Pattison-Williams, L Xie, WL Adamowicz, M Pybus… - Human Dimensions of …, 2020
... Results indicated that hunters are continuing to apply to hunt mule deer in areas with CWD and this relationship is not statistically impacted by the increasing prevalence of CWD. This outcome may be because CWD prevalence in Alberta is relatively low (but increasing), which is consistent with the literature indicating that few hunters avoid CWD zones until prevalence increases dramatically...

The Search for Genetic Clues to Determine Chronic Wasting Disease Susceptibility June 18, 2020 USDA.gov 
... In March 2020, Texas A&M published a paper ... was able to identify highly susceptible animals with a greater than 80 percent accuracy rate by analyzing DNA samples from 807 farmed white-tailed deer taken from across the United States between 2014 and 2018...

RM Southwell, K Sherlock, M Baylis - Veterinary Record, 2020
... Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is an orthobunyavirus, carried by Culicoides biting midges, that causes reproductive problems in adult ruminants ... The seroprevalence of SBV in the British wild deer population was 13.8 per cent; found in red, roe, muntjac and fallow deer species, with more in deer further south...

... After challenging the animals with CWD prions intraperitoneally, we found that all vaccinated groups had longer survival times than the CpG control group. Interestingly, the Mmo-immunized group revealed that survival was extended by 60%. We also observed 28.4% and 24.1% prolongation in Dmo and Ddi groups, respectively. Our preliminary study in reindeer showed substantial humoral immune response induced by Mdi and Ddi, and the sera from the Ddi-vaccinated reindeer significantly reduced CWD prions in a cell culture model. Taken together, this study describes potential vaccine candidates against CWD...

New breakthrough may help cure prion disease May 6, 2020 Massachusetts, News Medical
... fatal diseases caused by prions - chronic wasting disease in deer ... if you catch it early enough, if you pull out one side of the square, the amyloid structure can't double. Chaperones prevent the disease by preventing it from doubling in that first round... In a new paper in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology by Tricia Serio ...

Accurate Genomic Predictions for Chronic Wasting Disease in US White-Tailed Deer  CM Seabury, DL Oldeschulte, EK Bhattarai, D Legare… - G3: Genes, Genomes …, 2020
... we demonstrate that both differential susceptibility to CWD, and natural variation in disease progression, are moderately to highly heritable (h2 = 0.337 ± 0.079-0.637 ± 0.070) among farmed U.S. white-tailed deer, and that loci other than PRNP are involved. Genome-wide association analyses using 123,987 quality filtered SNPs for a geographically diverse cohort of 807 farmed U.S. white-tailed deer (n = 284 CWD positive; n = 523 CWD non-detect) confirmed the prion gene (PRNP; G96S) as a large-effect risk locus ...


Lax Pesticide Policies Are Putting Wildlife Health at Risk, Experts Warn July 14, 2021, Minnesota, National Audubon Society
... Among nearly 800 white-tailed deer spleens mailed to a Minnesota state lab in 2019 ... 61 percent ... were found to contain pesticides called neonicotinoids ... captive deer exposed to neonics—at far lower levels than found in the Minnesota wild deer spleens—suffered reduced fawn survival, altered organ weights, and developmental and behavioral abnormalities....

... gives the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources authority to inspect farms where deer are raised, a fundamental change at a time when deer herds, wild and tame, are threatened by an always-fatal disease... 174 farms that raise white-tailed deer in captivity..,

Chronic wasting disease takes hold July 5, 2021 Virginia, Rappahannock News
...Since its first detection in Virginia in 2009, 109 cases of CWD have been identified in Virginia across nine counties... “It’s important to remember that one single positive deer means that we tested one positive deer. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t other positive deer on the landscape,” ...

Getting ahead of Chronic Wasting Disease's return July 3, 2021 New York, Niagara Gazette
... Back in 2005 a very dangerous and deadly disease was found in a private captive deer herd in Oneida. The deer were all destroyed and, in the surrounding area, a lot of wild deer were shot for testing over the next six years. None were found to be afflicted but Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) put a big scare into wildlife managers across the state..,

CWD, Bluetongue disease outbreak killing deer July 2, 2021 Oklahoma, Muskogee Daily Phoenix
... In 1998, CWD was confirmed in a captive elk herd in Oklahoma County which had originally been imported from Montana... Oklahoma’s wildlife department has conducted CWD monitoring on hunter-harvested deer and road-killed deer and elk since 1999. CWD was not detected in laboratory testing of tissue samples from more than 10,000 wild deer and elk from throughout our state..,

... The infected deer at these breeding facilities will be securely quarantined and those six sites, as well as deer from 264 other sites in 95 counties directly linked to those facilities...  enhanced testing requirements for facilities with close epidemiological ties to the CWD-positive facilities and antemortem testing of deer ...

Chronic wasting disease takes hold in Bay states' deer June 21, 2021 Pennsylvania, The Chesapeake Bay Journal
... Pennsylvania ...has been particularly aggressive in thinning out deer populations to stop the spread in four affected areas in the state since CWD was first found there in 2012.  Yet, during hunting seasons last fall, the incidence of reported CWD rose in one disease management area to 14% of all deer shot, up from 8% the previous year..,

... Throughout the state there are approximately 950 deer ranches ... “Without movement like this, the disease would take maybe 10 years to spread across the state ... But because they’re being shipped all over, the disease has made its way from the western part of Texas to the eastern part in less than four months.” ... Deer breeders, on the other hand, are vehemently opposed to further regulations ..,

Maine Bans Consumer Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides, with Some Exceptions June 18, 2021 Beyond Pesticides
... Maine legislature passed, and Governor Janet Mills has now signed, a new law that will prohibit use of neonicotinoid pesticides with the “active ingredient[s] dinotefuranclothianidinimidacloprid or thiamethoxam used for application in outdoor residential landscapes ... Back in March, Beyond Pesticides reported on endemic levels of neonic contamination in the state’s deer population...

...  the always fatal neurological disease has traveled to Beltrami County by virtue of commercial deer farming... the DNR is racing to build a fence around public land where the heavily infected deer farm dumped carcasse ...

... The Minnesota Deer Farmers Association (MDFA) opposes the Minnesota Depemergency rule temporarily prohibiting the movement of all farmed white-tailed deer within the state, effective through the end of July 2021.  Preventing and minimizing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease ...

... The Minnesota Deer Farmers Association (MDFA) opposes the Minnesota Depemergency rule temporarily prohibiting the movement of all farmed white-tailed deer within the state, effective through the end of July 2021.  Preventing and minimizing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease ...

...This herd unit has one of the highest prevalence rates of CWD in the state and any management actions taken will be done with public buy-in and participation ...

More bad news for bees and deer May 29, 2021 Minnesota, The Courier
...  the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has found evidence of neonicotinoids inside deer in the state’s deepest and most remote forests... Neonicotinoids are a type of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine ...

... “It’s likely that there have been deer with CWD that have moved onto the nation at some point. Whether that has infected our resident deer or significantly affected our deer, I can’t say,” said Jessica Fort, a wildlife biologist for the Navajo Nation...

CWD has been detected in Warren County May 26, 2021 Pennsylvania, Erie Times-News
... a confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a white-tailed deer on a Warren County hunting preserve. Remaining deer were euthanized and all tested negative for the disease...

12 more Beltrami County deer test positive for CWD May 25, 2021 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... The Beltrami County herd was quarantined last October after receiving a deer from a potentially infected herd in Winona County ... “We have currently quarantined five additional registered farm cervidae herds in different counties throughout the state — Hennepin, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Mower,” ...

... University of Minnesota researchers using forensic science techniques has documented the presence of prions that cause chronic wasting disease at a remote Beltrami County site where a nearby deer farm discarded white-tailed deer carcasses ...

Libby approves deer management plan May 18, 2021 Montana, The Western News
... An analysis released in early 2020 indicated that 13 out of every 100 deer in the city suffered from CWD... An analysis released in early 2020 indicated that 13 out of every 100 deer in the city suffered from CWD... As for culling the population, the plan calls for assisting FWP in tracking the number of deer in Libby...
...State wildlife officials are scrambling to protect northern Minnesota's wild deer population from a defunct Beltrami County deer farm that became infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) and dumped at least 10 deer carcasses on nearby public land...

... A 2 1/2-year-old male deer legally harvested in southwestern Montgomery County tested positive ... the hunter did not notice any outward signs of disease ... the deer was harvested more than 160 miles from the closest prior detection in Madison County ..,

Development of field test for CWD comes as its threat grows April 23, 2021 Minnesota, West Central Tribune
... A team at the University of Minnesota has developed a deployable field test for Chronic Wasting Disease ... Current testing does not allow us to detect early stage infections in deer, Larsen told the committee. As a result, “we’re always two or three years behind the enemy.” ...

... the new test is also a lot cheaper than those using traditional equipment and uses field-deployable equipment to garner preliminary results in just 24 hours...

Cull sheds light on CWD, test sought for detection in live animals April 15, 2021 Montana, American Veterinary Medical Association
... The USDA and NASA’s Detect to Protect Challenge: A Live Animal Test will award cash prizes totaling $170,000 to develop proof of concept for a diagnostic test that will successfully detect CWD in samples from live animals provided by the USDA for the challenge...

... The new method utilizes a piece of tissue from the animal’s ear for testing. Previously, more invasive tests had proven effective but difficult to collect, including a rectal sample or biopsy of lymph nodes...

CWD discovered in a deer at Beltrami County farm April 14, 2021 North Dakota, KFGO
... The deer was part of a herd quarantined in October 2020 as part of BAH’s investigation of the previously reported Houston County CWD detection...

...  a 3-year-old white-tailed doe at a Beltrami County farm has been confirmed positive for CWD...  a 3-year-old white-tailed doe at a Beltrami County farm has been confirmed positive for CWD...

CWD-positive deer found on Beltrami County farm April 7, 2021 Pennsylvania, Bring Me The News
... The investigation stemmed from a Houston County farm where CWD was detected in October 2020... Through contact tracing, the board learned the farm owner in Beltrami County had purchased 11 animals from that same Winona County farm...

... Officials have taken immediate action to secure all deer at the Uvalde County and Hunt County deer breeding facilities and plan to conduct additional investigations for CWD. In addition, other breeding facilities that received deer from these facilities or shipped deer to these facilities during the last five years are under movement restrictions and cannot move or release deer at this time..,

Legislature strips Game and Fish of elk feed ground closure power March 30, 2021 Wyoming, WyoFile
... the bill comes amid elevated worries about fatal incurable Chronic Wasting Disease infecting feedground elk and spreading more rapidly because of the artificial crowding on feedgrounds... But closing a feedground could also have negative effects, sending elk onto private lands ...

Ailing moose euthanized March 29, 2021 Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer
... “When a moose begins to stay in one part of a small area, does not move, seems a little disoriented and has no fear of people, that’s a pretty good indication the moose has a brain worm infection,” ...

DOW zeroes in on area where CWD found March 20, 2021 Ohio, The Lima News
... there are two confirmed cases of CWD in Ohio’s wild deer herd ... taken within a 10-mile radius... in Wyandot County ... DOW plans continued surveillance in that specific area and plans on thinning the herd ...

... ferrets, racoon dogs and white-tailed deer are susceptible, although pigs and cattle are not.  “This could be a conservation concern, especially if the virus began to spread in a wild species ...

...  infected animals transmitted the virus to non-inoculated contact deer. Viral RNA was detected in multiple tissues 21 days post-inoculation (pi). All inoculated and indirect contact animals seroconverted and developed neutralizing antibodies as early as day 7 ...

Chronic Wasting Disease identified in Northeast Ohio deer March 8, 2021 Ohio, FOX8 Cleveland
... a second positive test for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a wild white-tailed deer in Wyandot County... a mature buck taken in December 2020...

9 more deer on Houston County farm test positive for CWD February 22, 2021 Minnesota, Bring Me The News
... “This herd was in good standing in our farmed cervid program and was double-fenced since 2017,” said Board Assistant Director, Dr. Linda Glaser. “It’s an example of how elusive CWD can be to detect and control quickly before it infects multiple animals within a herd...

... Data collected by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks during last year’s general hunting season indicated prevalence of CWD in whitetails in and around the Ruby Valley ranged from 8.3% in Hunting District 320 to as high as 50% in a specific portion of district 322...

... found stumbling through the streets ... hair protruded from discs of flesh covering both the buck's cornea ... A dermoid, by definition, is a type of benign tumor ...  deer tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) ...

Chronic wasting disease found in Four Corners area February 12, 2021 Colorado, Pagosa Springs SUN
... CPW has been monitoring the prevalence of CWD throughout Colorado for more than 20 years. This marks the first time that CWD-infected deer have been found in this location of Colorado ...

CWD detected in a deer taken in Rappahannock County February 11, 2021 Virginia, CBS19 News
... This was the first time the neurological disease was detected in Rappahannock County.  An adult buck that was harvested during the latter half of the regular firearms season ...

Chronic Wasting Disease found in county January 27, 2021 Kansas, Washington County News
... CWD is moving east across the state ... and it skipped a few counties to get to Washington County... deer can become infected before birth, and yearling bucks can spread the disease to new areas when they leave their mothers and search for new areas...

CWD, New study investigates devastating disease in deer January 25, 2021 Georgia, University of Georgia
... Animals severely affected by CWD may walk for miles away from their herd, as if they are disoriented... In some cases, infected animals walk into towns and can be contained and killed. But in the wild, they wander to new herds—potentially spreading the disease to a new population...

... Wild deer preferred areas closer to tertiary roads and supplementary food sources but farther from permanent water. Ranched deer selected bottomland mixed forest and areas closer to tertiary roads, supplementary food sources, and permanent water. Ranched deer behaviors may increase the likelihood of EHDV vector encounters ...

... the first wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in southern Wood County in the Town of Port Edwards, within ten miles of Juneau and Adams counties. As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Wood, Juneau and Adams counties..,

For first time, CWD confirmed in Wood County wild deer January 20, 2021 Wisconsin, Outdoor News
... the first wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in southern Wood County in the Town of Port Edwards, within ten miles of Juneau and Adams counties...

CWD found in new Wyoming deer hunt area January 20, 2021 Wyoming, County 10
... a positive test from a mule deer buck that was found dead. Deer Hunt Area 138 southeast of Pinedale ...

... Henderson County is now classified as a CWD high-risk county with the confirmation of CWD in a hunter-harvested deer in Madison County within 10 miles of the Henderson County border...

White-tailed deer susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, study finds January 15, 2021 News Medical
... highly susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Moreover, the infected animals are capable of transmitting the virus to their non-infected counterparts via indirect contact... Genomic analysis studies have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 shares high genetic similarities with coronaviruses found in bats ...

DNR Confirms CWD Detected In Shawano County January 12, 2021 Wisconsin, DNR
... The CWD-positive deer was an adult doe harvested during the 2020 gun deer season and was tested as part of the department's disease surveillance efforts. This is the first wild deer detection in Shawano County..,