Volume 26, Issue S1 p. 1035.6-1035.6
Pathology
Free Access

Determining source populations of newly identified cases of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer

Michelle L. Green

Michelle L. Green

Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

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Mary Beth Manjerovic

Mary Beth Manjerovic

Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

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Nohra E. Mateus-Pinilla

Nohra E. Mateus-Pinilla

Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

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Amy C. Kelly

Amy C. Kelly

Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

NIH/NIDDK, Bethesda, MD

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Paul Shelton

Paul Shelton

Division of Wildlife Resources, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield, IL

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Jan Novakofski

Jan Novakofski

Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

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Abstract

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy caused by prions, and affects deer, elk and moose. CWD was first reported in Illinois in 2002 and continues to spread. Spark deer, or new CWD cases found in disease free locations > 60 miles from infection zones, are worrisome because of their risk of infecting healthy populations. In Illinois, six spark cases have been reported south of the north core area. It is unknown whether spark deer originated from the core and migrated to southern areas or southern individuals contracted CWD from within their locale. The objective of this study was to genetically identify source populations of spark cases. Using microsatellites, randomly selected samples from north and south source populations were genotyped, tested for Hardy-Weinberg and linkage disequilibrium using CERVUS, and allele frequencies calculated using ARLEQUIN. Assignment tests compared genotypes of each spark case to the north and south to calculate the probability of genotype occurrence in each population. Based on the probability, we assessed likelihoods that these spark deer originated from the disease core or local population. The results of the study provided a better understanding of potential mechanisms of spark case occurrence, the data required to evaluate sparks in Illinois and potential sources of CWD spread. This project was supported by the IDNR and UIUC-OVCR.