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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Research Project #444897

Research Project: Enhancing Detection of CWD in Tissue Samples from Cervids

Location: Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 2090-32000-042-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 14, 2023
End Date: Aug 13, 2026

Optimize and validate novel protein misfolding assay protocols to the antemortem detection of early preclinical natural infections of white-tailed deer with chronic wasting disease.

A validation tissue set of recto-anal mucosa-associated tissue (RAMALT) biopsies will be assembled from white-tailed deer naturally infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD). The presence of CWD infectivity in RAMALT biopsies will be determined by transgenic mouse bioassay. A homogenate-based method to assess RAMALT biopsy quality will be developed using lymphoid tissue markers. Novel applications of existing and newly designed prion-specific aptamers will be evaluated in prion protein misfolding assays and sample preparation. The diagnostic performance of a new commercially available substrate will be determined for homogenates of RAMALT biopsies using an optimized real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay.