Spring 2024


A clear resin disc containing eight numbered insects for comparative display.
Ticks and other insects suspended in resin. Photo by Michael P. King


Research by CALS scientists and their collaborators finds that ticks can harbor transmissible amounts of prions, the protein particles that cause chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a neurodegenerative disease known to pass from deer to deer through contact with prion-contaminated soil and infected bodily fluids.

This study, published in the journal Nature, implicates the parasitic insects as another possible agent in the spread of the disease. The research team was led by Heather Inzalaco, a researcher with the Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.

This article was posted in Findings, Healthy Ecosystems, Spring 2024 and tagged , , , , , , .