Deer disease crossing Mississippi - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deer disease crossing Mississippi

AMES (KWWL) -- An Iowa State University grad student's study of dear has found the Mississippi River may not be a barrier to the spread of deadly chronic wasting disease.

Krista Lang wrote her master's thesis on the two-year research project. She says deer cross the Mississippi regularly. Because of that, it does little to separate Wisconsin deer, which are infected with chronic wasting disease, and Iowa deer, which have yet to test positive for the fatal neurological ailment.

Lang and ISU wildlife ecologist Julie Blanchong coordinated genetic testing on 500 Iowa and Wisconsin deer harvested by hunters from 2006 through 2008. The DNA analysis determined only minor genetic differences between Iowa and Wisconsin deer.

Department of Natural Resources deer biologist Tom Litchfield says the study suggests the likelihood of chronic wasting disease being eventually found in an Iowa deer.

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