Jameson Mori | 2024 PRI Early Career Investigator Award recipient

Amber Zilinger (left) and Jameson Mori (right) at the PRI award ceremony on May 14, 2024. 

Congratulations, Jameson, for receiving the 2024 Early Career Investigator Award from the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) for their outstanding contributions to environmental science and interdisciplinary research. Jameson Mori is a Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory member at the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Keep up the good work!!!

For the complete story, please visit the People of PRI news, here.

How Often Do Whitetails Give Birth to Triplet and Quadruplet Fawns, or More?

By LINDSAY THOMAS Jr. | NDA’s Chief Communications Officer.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is doe-pregnancy-rates_National-Deer-Assoc-1024x521.jpg

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Are you wondering about the fertility and pregnancy of white-tailed deer? A new article by The National Deer Association answers these questions and more, as it explains exciting facts about doe whitetails and their offspring.

For the complete story, please visit the The National Deer Association, here.

New study finds Extension offices have vital role in fight against growing number of tick bites

By EMILY STEELE | Media Communications Manager

Once uncommon in the Midwest, deer ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks, and others are now found across Illinois, and tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are on the rise. Cases of alpha-gal syndrome, a red meat allergy, have also increased. Those who spend a lot of time outdoors, either for work or recreation, have a higher risk of being bitten.
Lyme disease tick at different stages. Photo credit: Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory – INHS
URBANA, Ill. — A call, email, or visit to the local University of Illinois Extension office can help provide some peace of mind. New research from a multi-department team of university scientists explored the role Illinois Extension has in educating communities about ticks and preventing risky encounters.

Read the whole story by Illinois Extension | UIUC here.

COVID-19 and wildlife: an interdisciplinary effort to disease surveillance in deer.

By Joey He | Undergraduate majoring in integrative biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

COVID sampling team — we were cold but happy and thankful for the experience and the learning opportunity from hunters, IDNR and USDA biologists, and colleagues.

CHAMPAIGN, lL. – Joey He, an undergrad student member of the Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory (WVEL) at the Illinois Natural History Survey, narrates her experience participating in the collaborative effort of the WVEL along with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and USDA-WS to collect COVID samples from hunter-harvested white-tailed deer.

For the complete story, please visit the Illinois Outdoor Journal, here.

Are Illinois farmers aware of the risk of tick-borne diseases?

By DIANA YATES | Life Sciences Editor

Ph.D. candidate Sulagna Chakraborty, center, led a study of farmer awareness of ticks and tick-borne diseases with U. of I. pathobiology professor Rebecca Smith, left, and Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife veterinary epidemiologist Nohra Mateus-Pinilla.
Photo by Fred Zwicky

CHAMPAIGN, lL. – Tick-borne illnesses like ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are on the rise in Illinois, and outdoor workers like farmers are at higher risk than those who spend more time indoors. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Ph.D. candidate Sulagna Chakraborty and her colleagues at Illinois led a new study on the subject that surveyed 50 Illinois farmers to learn about their awareness of the problem and engagement in tick-prevention efforts. Chakraborty spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about what they found.

Read the whole story by the University of Illinois News Bureau here.

Impact of CWD on Fetal Growth and Pregnancy Rates in Illinois White-tailed Deer

By Jameson Mori, Nelda A. Rivera, Jan Novakofski and Nohra E. Mateus-Pinilla

Deer behavior that may impact indirect transmission and exposure to CWD from an infected habitat (Tian et al., 2022). Photos: Key Deer by W. Tipton; Fawn with Mother by USFWS Midwest region.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Understanding the role of diseases on reproduction is essential for safeguarding the reproductive health of wildlife populations. Furthermore, it enables informed decision-making, effective interventions, and targeted approaches to support reproductive healthIn the article Impact of CWD on Fetal Growth and Pregnancy Rates in Illinois White-tailed Deer, Mori et al. summarize the latest research and their results related to the effect of CWD on Illinois white-tailed deer reproductive health.

For the complete story, please visit the Illinois Outdoor Journal, here.

Deer protected from deadly disease by newly discovered genetic differences.

By LAUREN QUINN | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CHAMPAIGN, lL. – It was the height of summer 2022 when the calls started coming in. Scores of dead deer suddenly littered rural properties and park preserves, alarming the public and inconveniencing landowners. According to officials at the Urbana Park District, it was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a midge-borne viral illness that pops up in white-tailed deer populations around the state every few years. And when susceptible deer are infected, they die within days.

deer

Now, University of Illinois scientists have found gene variants in deer associated with the animals’ susceptibility to EHD.

Read the whole story by Phys.org here.

Occurrence of Hemorrhagic Disease in Illinois: Four Decades of Spatial and Temporal Changes

By Dr. Nelda A. Rivera, Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, and Dr. Jan Novakofski
HD outbreaks in white-tailed deer in the U.S. are usually seasonal, occurring from mid-summer to late autumn. The year 1998 was the first year with 163 reported HD cases in 16 counties in Illinois. In 2018, the number of HD cases reported was 462, and by 2019, 99 counties had reported cases in Illinois. Panel B modified from Dorak et al., 2022.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – In a recent study, 38 years of historical data were used to analyze Illinois’s spatial and temporal changes in Hemorrhagic disease (HD) affecting wild white-tailed deer.

“The results of Dorak et al. (2022) corroborate the importance of expanding surveillance efforts, collecting precise geographic locations during outbreaks, and the vital role of virus isolation in helping wildlife agencies understand and predict HD outbreaks and better inform the public.”

Read the whole story at the Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal, here.

UI researchers express concern about COVID-19 spread in deer populations

By VIVIAN LA | Assistant Daytime Editor

White-tailed deer in Illinois and other states can be infected with COVID-19, and Illinois researchers have concerns about how humans passed on the virus and what it means for the future of pandemic.

©Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory – Illinois Natural History Survey

In November, hundreds of white-tailed deer in Iowa tested positive for COVID-19, suggesting that humans are spreading the virus to animal populations and among one another.

This came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a study in August stating that COVID-19 antibodies were found in deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. These antibodies suggested that deer were exposed but potentially not infected.

Read the whole story at The Daily Illini website, here.

CWD Management in Illinois: Improving Turnaround Time

By Nelda A. Rivera, Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, William M. Brown.

“Some advantages of including the ELISA test are that ELISA uses fresh tissue, eliminating exposure to Formaldehyde for those taking and processing the samples. Furthermore, fresh samples can be shipped frozen and stored in less expensive containers (e.g., Whirl-Pak bags). Thus, they require less storage space and, therefore, reduce shipping costs. In addition, ELISA typically has a 4-day turnaround for results depending on the capacity of the diagnostic laboratory.”

During FY 2021, most of the samples received were processed within the first two weeks after the kill date. Therefore, there was a higher percentage of all the samples with completed test results by weeks 10 to 12 (Figure 3; Table 2).

CHAMPAIGN, IL – During the fiscal year 2021, the IDNR surveillance management program—in partnership with Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory—, improved the turnaround time of results of CWD by using a combination of ELISA test (for large-scale hunter harvest surveillance) and Immunohistochemistry (for “special permit surveillance” from IDNR and “suspect deer surveillance”).

 

Read the whole story at the Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal, here.