Spatial epidemiology of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin white-tailed deer

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
By: , and 


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Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, emerging disease of cervids associated with transmissible protease-resistant prion proteins. The potential for CWD to cause dramatic declines in deer and elk populations and perceived human health risks associated with consuming CWD-contaminated venison have led wildlife agencies to embark on extensive CWD control programs, typically involving culling to reduce deer populations. We characterized the spatial distribution of CWD in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Wisconsin to facilitate CWD management. We found that CWD prevalence declined with distance from a central location, was locally correlated at a scale of 3.6 km, and was correlated with deer habitat abundance. The latter result is consistent with patterns expected for a positive relationship between density and prevalence of CWD. We recommend management activities focused on culling in geographic areas with high prevalence to have the greatest probability of removing infected individuals. Further research is needed to elucidate the factors in envolved in CWD spread and infection rates, especially the role of density-dependent transmission. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2006.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spatial epidemiology of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin white-tailed deer
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume 42
Issue 3
Year Published 2006
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
First page 578
Last page 588
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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