University developing faster test for CWD

Published 8:40 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

ST. PAUL — As Minnesota’s archery deer season gets underway, hunters in the state’s hot zones for chronic wasting disease still have to wait days to find out if their venison is safe to eat. But the University of Minnesota is aiming to develop a better testing method within two years that could provide much faster answers.

The science for detecting the fatal brain disease is making progress, but lymph node samples must be sent out of state while they’re still viable.

“You don’t have the luxury of time to wait,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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The newly formed Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach, known as MNPRO, is the university’s first step in developing real-time diagnostic tests to help stop the contagion, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday.