MSU Deer Lab receives funding for CWD research

Published 7:50 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is providing $12 million in funding to fight against Chronic Wasting Disease. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks received $207,541 for an environmental surveillance project. The money will be used by the Mississippi State University Deer Lab, an unofficial research arm of MDWFP, to study CWD prions in scrapes using RT-QuIC tests. 

CWD prions are shed by infected deer and then persist in the environment for long periods of time. MSU’s research project found CWD prions in a scrape in Claiborne County, where no deer have tested positive. Adjacent Tensas Parish has detected CWD in 12 deer since 2022 so it is possible positive deer are in Claiborne County but more samples are needed. 

Miranda Huang is leading the CWD scrape research at Mississippi State University as a Deer Lab employee. She said the program will look to expand to other sites and work with multiple states but details are still being finalized. 

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Last year, MSU studied scrapes in Benton County and Claiborne County and a few counties in Tennessee.  The MSU Deer Lab has other projects in the works to study Chronic Wasting Disease. One of those projects will look at the connection between wild hogs, deer and CWD.