A 14-month-old captive male white-tailed deer at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area ( WMA ) research facility was recently informed by the National Veterinary Service Laboratories ( NVSL ) in Ames, Iowa, that additional testing at their facility did not confirm a suspect-positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease ( CWD ).
The specimen from the 14-month-old buck was gathered in October as part of ongoing research at the Kerr WMA during ante-mortem screening of all captive white-tailed deer. In order to quickly address an influx of sample submissions, samples were submitted to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab ( TVMDL ) in collaboration with the Wisconsin Agricultural Diagnostic Laboratory ( WVDL). The test was processed by WVDL, and TVMDL verified the staining that their staff had noticed using electronic pictures of the slide. WVDL sent the Kerr WMA example as a suspect good for CWD to NVSL for confirmatory testing as required by federal regulation.
A presumptive positive RT-QuIC ( real time quaking-induced conversion ) test result from a doe in early 2023 was followed by October’s ante-mortem testing. More research investigations and replication testing on more deer, equipment, water, and nourish sites within the facility were prompted by this RT-QuIC detection. The second round of RT-QuIC climate assessments at the facility did find prions in some climate samples, even though regulatory tests on no deer yielded any confirmed detections.
Prior to receiving validation from NVSL, TPWD staff put all deer in the research facility to sleep out of extreme caution. They also gathered post-mortem samples in November, but there were no further detections. In order to conduct a third round of environmental sampling at the facility and assess postmortem tissues from all the animals put to death there, TPWD has immediate plans to use RT-QuIC and protein misfolding cyclic amplifiers ( PMCA ). Following a suspect immunohistochemistry good result, it is extremely uncommon for TPWD to go unconfirmed by NVSL.
The office knew it was crucial to quickly reduce the likelihood of amplifying the illness threat within the captive facility, despite the TPWD staff’s disappointment at the abrupt end of use of the research herd, according to Wildlife Division Director John Silovsky. Additionally, it lowers the possibility of spreading CWD to nearby landlords and WMA home. Key elements of CWD management include first disease detection and containment.
All hunter-harvest deer on the house will still be subject to mandatory checking from the WMA. Despite the lack of a conventional CWD security zone, it has also implemented restrictions on the movement and disposal of carcasses.
CWD is a dangerous neurological condition that affects some cervids, including deer, elk, and caribou. In prone species, this slow-moving illness might not manifest itself for several years after infection. Pets with CWD may exhibit changes in behavior and appearance as the condition process progresses. Liberal weight loss, uncoordinated stumbling or tremors, tooth grinding, unusual head posture and/or drooping ears, excessive thirst, salivation, and urination are some clinical symptoms.
The first sign of CWD in a flock is frequently discovered through surveillance testing more than discovered clinical signs because the disease’s incubation period can last years. First CWD recognition and strategic monitoring speed up the government’s response time and significantly lower the risk of further disease spread.
The illness was first identified in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer near the Texas-New Mexico borders in a remote region of the Hueco Mountains. Since then, CWD has been found in Texas ‘ prisoner and free-ranging cervids, including deer, white-tailed deer, horse, and red-deer.
Visit TPWD’s CWD website for more details on prior Texas alerts and the best management techniques for hunting and landowners. Explore the Kerr WMA website for more details about the organization and research projects.