Right now the only way to test a deer (or other cervids) for chronic wasting disease is to examine the brain of a dead animal. That is a time-consuming job requiring the co-operation of ranchers and hunters. Needless to say it is also a bit of a messy process. One of the goals of our 2015 Large Scale Applied Research Project on chronic wasting disease is to be able to test for the prion disease in the environment or to test for signs of the disease in living animals.
Debbie McKenzie is one of the lead researchers on our 2015 LSARP project 'Systems biology and molecular ecology of Chronic Wasting Disease
' based at the University of Alberta. She sat down with freelance broadcaster Don Hill to talk about how such a test might work,