MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a new approach to field-testing for chronic wasting disease.
The test, called “MN-QuIC,” uses nanoparticles to identify CWD prions in tissue samples. It is cheaper and uses field equipment to deliver results in 24 hours.
The team worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last spring to analyze tissue samples from CWD-positive white-tailed deer. They deployed their first field test in early March in southeastern Minnesota.
“We will continue to validate MN-QuIC over the coming months and plan additional field deployments this fall,” said Peter Larsen, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
In the future, researchers are hoping the test could be set up at stations across the state, which would cut down on testing bottlenecks.
CWD affects white-tailed deer, caribou, elk and other cervids. The neurological disease impacts the animal’s brain, which results in abnormal behavior and eventually, death. The Center for Disease Control recommends against eating meat from CWD-infected animals.