Cherie Nolden



MS Student (former)



Research Project: Interspecies transmission of CWD


Recent studies indicate that chronic wasting disease (CWD) may be transmitted to deer by direct contact, from fecal or urine contamination, or through environmental contamination associated with carcasses of infected deer.  The potential for environmental contamination with CWD provides a potential source for transmission to wildlife that share habitat with white-tailed deer. Carcasses of deer will also be consumed by wildlife, but little is known about the frequency and range of species that eat deer carrion and could be exposed to CWD from an infected carcass. In Wisconsin, the primary carrion consumers will likely include Eastern coyote (Canis latrans), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), common raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana).  Although these species may consume infected deer tissue, it is unknown whether CWD can successfully cross the species barrier to infect these animals.


Objectives & Methods

This research is intended to investigate the decomposition of deer carcasses, determine the types and number of animals that consume deer carcasses, and evaluate the possibility of interspecies transmission of CWD from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) carcasses to carrion consumers. We will identify the species that consume deer carrion, as they are the most likely to encounter PrPCWDfrom a deer that died of the disease, by using remotely triggered cameras on deer carcasses (fawns or adults testing negative by immunohistochemistry [IHC]) throughout the CWD-affected region of Wisconsin.



Anderson, J.L., J.K. Meece, J.J. Koziczkowski, J. L. Clark, Jr, R.D. Radcliff, C.A. Nolden, M.D. Samuel, and J.L.E. Ellingson.  2007.  Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in scavenging mammals in Wisconsin.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 43:302-308.

Docherty, D.E., M.D. Samuel, C.A. Nolden, K.E. Egstad, and K.M. Griffin.  2006.  West Nile Virus Antibody Prevalence in Medium-sized mammals in southern Wisconsin.  Emerging Infectious Diseases 12:1978-1980.


Nolden, C.A., and M.D. Samuel. 2005. Potential for interspecies transmission of chronic wasting disease. The Wildlife Society 12th Annual Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, September.

Nolden, C.A., M.D. Samuel, and J. Aiken.  2005.  Potential for exposure of Wisconsin scavenging mammals to chronic wasting disease.  Poster.  Second International Chronic Wasting Disease Symposium, Madison, Wisconsin, July.

Nolden, C.A., M.D. Samuel, and J. M. Aiken. 2004. Interspecies transmission of chronic wasting disease: Identification and testing of potentially affected species. Wisconsin DNR CWD Research Meeting. Madison WI, March 24.