Abstract. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been reported in white-tailed deer at the border of the US states of Illinois and Wisconsin since 2002. Transmission of infectious prions between animals and from the environment has resulted in spatial and temporal structure observable in the spatio-temporal patterns of reported cases. Case locations of 382 positive cases from 28,954 deer tested between 2002 and 2009 provided insight into the potential risk factors and landscape features associated with transmission using a combination of clustering, generalised linear modelling and descriptive evaluations of a risk map of predicted cases of CWD. A species distribution map of white-tailed deer developed using MaxEnt provided an estimate of deer locations. We found that deer probability increased in areas with larger forests and less urban and agricultural lands. Spatial clustering analysis revealed a core area of persistent CWD transmission in the northern part of the region. The regression model indicated that larger and more compact forests were associated with higher risk for CWD. High risk areas also had soils with less clay and more sand than other parts of the region. The transmission potential was higher where landscape features indicated the potential for higher deer concentrations. The inclusion of spatial lag variables improved the model. Of the 102 cases reported in the study area in the two years following the study period, 89 (87%) of those were in the 32% of the study area with the highest 50% of predicted risk of cases.
Strategies to contain the spread of disease often are developed with incomplete knowledge of the possible outcomes but are intended to minimize the risks associated with delaying control. Culling of game species by government agencies is one approach to control disease in wild populations but is unpopular with hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, politically unpalatable, and erodes public support for agencies responsible for wildlife management. We addressed the functional differences between hunting and government culling programs for managing chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer by comparing prevalence over a 10-year period in Illinois and Wisconsin. When both Illinois and Wisconsin were actively culling from 2003 - 2007, there were no statistical differences between state CWD prevalence estimates. Wisconsin government culling concluded in 2007 and average prevalence over the next five years was 3.09 ± 1.13% with an average annual increase of 0.63%. During that same time period, Illinois continued government culling and there was no change in prevalence throughout Illinois. Despite its unpopularity among hunters, localized culling is a disease management strategy that can maintain low disease prevalence while minimizing impacts on recreational deer harvest.
The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a biomonitor for organohalogenated compounds (OHCs) associated with a wide range of deleterious health effects in wildlife and humans. We determined concentrations of twenty OHCs in livers of 23 river otters salvaged by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from 2009 to 2011, determined sex-dependent distribution of OHCs, and compared our results to the reported concentrations of four OHCs in Illinois river otters from 1984 to 1989. Since these contaminants have been banned for over 30 years, we predicted smaller mean concentrations than those previously reported in Illinois otters. We detected eleven of twenty OHCs; PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dieldrin, and 4,4-DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene) were present in the greatest mean concentrations. We report the largest mean concentration of dieldrin to date in the liver of North American river otters (mean: 174, range: 14.4-534 parts per billion wet wt [ppb]). Mean PCB concentrations were significantly higher in males (mean: 851; range: 30-3450ppb) than females (mean: 282; range: 40-850ppb; p=0.04). Mean concentrations of dieldrin were greater than those detected in otters from 1984 to 1989 (mean: 90; range: 30-130ppb; p<0.05). Our results suggest OHC exposure remains a concern. Future research in Illinois should focus on evaluating OHCs exposures, particularly dieldrin, at the watershed level.
We evaluated population management programs for controlling chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wild white-tailed deer in Illinois between November 2002 and March 2008. The intervention consisted of measures of deer removal from three deer population control programs: Illinois Department of Natural Resources culling, deer population control permits and nuisance deer removal permits. We included in the analysis a total of 14,650 white-tailed deer CWD test results. These data also included location and demographic data collected from both deer harvested in the interventions as well as deer from hunter harvests and deer vehicle collisions. We quantified intervention pressures as the number of years of intervention, the total number of deer removed and the average number of deer removed per year. We accounted for temporal and spatial variations of intervention by using mixed logistic regression to model the association between intervention pressures and CWD prevalence change. The results showed that deer population management intervention as practiced in Illinois during the study period was negatively associated with CWD prevalence and the strength of association varied depending on age of deer and the measure of intervention pressure. The population management programs showed a more consistent association with reduced CWD prevalence in fawn and yearling white-tailed deer than in adult deer. Our results also suggested that frequent and continuing intervention events with at least moderate intensity of culling were needed to reduce CWD prevalence. A longer study period, however, is needed to make a more definite conclusion about the effectiveness of similar population management programs for controlling CWD in wild white-tailed deer.
Biochemical and biophysical research tools are used to define the developmental dynamics of numerous cell lineages from a variety of tissues relevant to meat quality. With respect to the adipose cell lineage, much of our present understanding of adipogenesis and lipid metabolism was initially determined through the use of these methods, even though the in vitro or molecular environments are far removed from the tissues of meat animals. This concise review focuses on recent cellular and molecular biology-related research with adipocytes, and how the research might be extended to the endpoint of altering red meat quality. Moreover, economic and policy impacts of such in animal production regimens is discussed. These issues are important, not only with respect to palatability, but also to offer enhanced health benefits to the consumer by altering content of bioactive components in adipocytes.
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