Enhanced Capacity for Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Certified Diagnostics at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center

Science Center Objects

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease that impacts populations of deer, elk, moose, and other cervid species caused by an infectious protein called a prion.

As charismatic megafauna of North America, declines to these populations caused by an infectious disease negatively impacts state economies and presents numerous challenges to the state and federal agencies charged with managing these species. To address this challenge, the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) is working to bring online added national capacity for conducting CWD diagnostics and for developing novel diagnostic tests needed by wildlife managers to more efficiently conduct CWD surveillance and assess the impacts of CWD management actions.

Two mule deer in a field of yellow and green

Mule deer. (Credit: Tom Koerner, Fish and Wildlife Service. Public domain.)