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Origins of Chronic Wasting Disease

Wyoming, Deer Disease News Archive



Don't Let CWD Stop Management December, 2002 By James C. Kroll
In this article deer researcher Dr. James C. Kroll notes that a strange deer malady showed up in 1967 at the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Research Facility near Fort Collins. "Similarly ill animals then appeared in the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Sybile Research Unit at Wheatland. The facilities apparently had traded animals over the years."

Dr. Kroll notes that in 1978, "Dr. Beth Williams of the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory examined brain tissue from some of the stricken animals that the brains had a "Swiss cheese" or spongy appearance. Something as eating holes in them. The disease was dubbed chronic wasting disease.

   Since chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first identified nearly 50 years ago in a captive mule deer herd in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, it has slowly spread across North America through the natural and anthropogenic movement of cervids and their carcasses. As the endemic areas have expanded, so has the need for rapid, sensitive, and cost effective diagnostic tests—especially those which take advantage of samples collected antemortem. Over the past two decades, strategies have evolved from the recognition of microscopic spongiform pathology and associated immunohistochemical staining of the misfolded prion protein to enzyme-linked immunoassays capable of detecting the abnormal prion conformer in postmortem samples... Figure 1 from page

Game and Fish adds option to mandate CWD testing July 2, 2018 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... The first cases of CWD in Wyoming were detected in 1985 in mule deer. The disease has since spread to elk and other species of deer and now affects ungulates in all but two counties in the state, Teton and Uinta... will not require hunters to test meat for chronic wasting disease in 2018 ...

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Apr 16, 2017, 7:46 AM