Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Development of PMCA for detection of CWD prions


September 2010 - August 2013


The objective of the proposed research is to develop highly sensitive PMCA methods for testing soil and animal secretions/excreta for the presence of prions, specifically CWD. The proposed study will supplement funding from the National Science Foundation to develop PMCA methods for prion detection in deer secretions/excreta (feces and other tissues). We will test samples collected at the Hall Farm in Portage County, Wisconsin using cervidized transgenic Tg(CerPrP) mice to detect CWD prions from feces of infected animals from this premise. This project will contribute to the development of PMCA methods for detecting CWD prions in deer secretions/excreta. Development of these methods will provide a crucial tool for efficiently measuring the presence and abundance of prions in animal samples and will enhance our scientific ability to address important research on the role of the environmental as a reservoir and in transmission of CWD.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Johnson, C. J., J. M. Aiken, D. McKenzie, M. D. SAMUEL, and J. A. Pedersen. Highly efficient amplification of chronic wasting disease agent by protein misfolding cyclic amplification wit beads (PMCAb). PLos ONE e35383.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 670

Scientific Publications: 1897

Presentations: 4202



  • Michael SamuelPrincipal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USGS Biology


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey