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National test kit shortage delays chronic wasting disease results on Iowa deer tissue samples

Test results on Iowa deer samples for the presence of chronic wasting disease will likely be delayed until after the holidays, due to a national shortage of available test kits.

Officials at Colorado State University (CSU) notified the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that a shortage of test kits at labs from around the country has caused an unexpected increase in the testing requests at the CSU lab.

CSU initially agreed to process 1,200 samples from the 2017-18 deer season, but that number is expected to increase. The Iowa DNR is seeking approval from the Natural Resource Commission at its Dec. 14 meeting to increase the number of samples for testing at CSU. The Iowa DNR worked with CSU to process samples in 2015.

Iowa State University’s Veterinary Lab has been the primary lab for testing Iowa samples for CWD, but it has not been able to conduct tests on submitted samples since Nov. 17 due to the national shortage.

The Iowa deer tissue samples are part of the Iowa DNR’s chronic wasting disease monitoring effort. Staff with the Iowa DNR wildlife bureau will continue collecting deer tissue samples from specific areas within target counties. 

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