A review of chronic wasting disease (CWD) spread, surveillance, and control in the United States captive cervid industry

Jameson Mori, Nelda Rivera, Jan Novakofski, Nohra Mateus-Pinilla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease of the family Cervidae that circulates in both wild and captive cervid populations. This disease threatens the health and economic viability of the captive cervid industry, which raises cervids in contained spaces for purposes such as hunting and breeding. Given the high transmissibility and long incubation period of CWD, the introduction and propagation of the infectious prion protein within and between captive cervid farms could be devastating to individual facilities and to the industry as a whole. Despite this risk, there does not yet exist a literature review that summarizes the scientific knowledge, to date, about CWD spread, surveillance, or control measures. Our review, which focused on peer reviewed, primary research conducted in the United States, sought to address this need by searching Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science with a five-term keyword string containing terms related to the (1) location, (2) species affected, (3) disease, (4) captive cervid industry, and (5) topic of focus. Between the three databases, there were 190 articles that were selected for further examination. Those articles were then read to determine if they were about CWD spread, surveillance, and/or control in captive cervid facilities. The 22 articles that met these inclusion criteria were evaluated in detail and discussed, with recommendations for future collaborative work between captive cervid owners, government agencies, and researchers. This work will help to address, inform, and mitigate the rising problem of CWD spread and establishment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • Contact tracing
  • epidemiology
  • network
  • prion
  • risk assessment
  • transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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