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Making Innovative Connections
Across the Spectrum of Protein Misfolding Diseases

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Chronic Wasting Disease

Secure definitive results using MNPROtein as a substrate for real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays of critical proteopathies, including Chronic Wasting Disease. Produced at the University of Minnesota, MNPROtein consists of a recombinant, truncated prion protein derived from Syrian hamster (amino acids 90-231 Syrian Hamster), and is externally audited for quality. Protein concentration is ensured by A280 with a mass attenuation coefficient of 1.4 and is purified with nickel-affinity chromatography. Each production batch is then internally validated to ensure rigorous quality control before distribution.

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Available Products

MNPRO has designed a range of products to support researchers and educators. Click on a box to learn more.

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We are a University of Minnesota-based research center with dense collaborative connections and global reach, driven to find solutions to chronic wasting disease and other protein misfolding disorders.

Est. 2019

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Human Disease

Parkinson's

Alzheimer's

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

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Cryo-EM Opens New Vistas on Chronic Wasting Disease

Publications

Animal Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease

BSE

Scrapie

About MNPRO

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3D Deer Head I

MNPRO has created prototype 3D printed models of a deer head. These novel tools can be utilized to demonstrate the removal of lymph node and brainstem samples for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. This model is highly useful to help educate hunters, cervid farmers, students, and professionals who may need to sample target tissues for CWD testing.
16 inch or 11 inch single-piece 3D deer head model with accessible and removable medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes.

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Video

Lymph Node Sampling

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Translucent resin model deer head

3D Deer Head II

MNPRO has created prototype 3D printed models of a deer head. These novel tools can be utilized to demonstrate the removal of lymph node and brainstem samples for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. This model is highly useful to help educate hunters, cervid farmers, students, and professionals who may need to sample target tissues for CWD testing.
16 inch or 11 inch two-piece 3D model with accessible and removable medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes and brainstem.

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Groundbreaking Tribal Collaboration

Environment

Remediation

Ecology

modeling

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Prions and Our Waterways

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Frequently Asked Questions About CWD
WHAT IS CWD?
Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious prion disease affecting deer, elk, moose, and other animals the cervid family. CWD causes neurological breakdown. It is always fatal.
WHAT IS A PRION?
A prion (pronounced PREE-on) is a protein present in all mammals that helps cells in the body to function normally. When normal prion proteins misfold, they lose this ability and cause disease. Abnormally folded prion proteins can cause normally folded and functioning prions to misfold. Over time, as the misfolded proteins bind together and accumulate, they cause the destruction of brain cells and signs of illness develop. This eventually leads to death.
HOW DOES CWD SPREAD?
The transmission of CWD is varied and complex. CWD-causing prions are present throughout an infected deer: in blood, saliva, semen, urine, feces, antler velvet, muscle and other tissues. Thus, as an infected deer lives on, it can shed CWD-causing prions into the environment through its saliva, urine, and other bodily fluids; infected does can even pass CWD prions on to their fawns before birth. Once the infected animal dies, prions can be released into the environment from the carcass of the animal. The unique shape of CWD prions makes them resistant to degradation and destruction; they can remain infectious in the environment even after many years. We know that healthy deer can become infected when they interact with infected deer or from the environment when it is contaminated by CWD prions.
HOW CAN I TELL IF A DEER HAS CWD?
Deer that are infected with CWD can appear healthy and normal for a very long time. It can take up to two years for signs of disease to appear, and this is generally only in the final few months. Sick deer might show signs of drinking and urinating more than normal, incoordination, drooling, loss of fear of humans, unusual social interactions with other deer, poor hair coat and loss of body condition (i.e., they become skinny).
IS CWD+ VENISON SAFE TO EAT?
There is currently no evidence that humans have contracted a prion disease from consuming meat from a deer with CWD, but there is some concern for this. Like viruses, CWD prions can change as they infect new deer, and those changes can result in new strains. Because it is very difficult to identify strains of CWD and how they might differ in their risk to people, the general recommendation is that people not eat venison from deer that have CWD.

Continue learning about CWD with this printable fact sheet.

Tracking the spread of chronic wasting disease
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Next-Gen Diagnostics

We are inventing, innovating, and validating ways to detect protein misfolding diseases.
  • MN-QuIC (2021)

A breakthrough field-deployable assay.

  • Micro-QuIC (2022)

A novel acoustofluidic platform for the rapid and sensitive detection of protein misfolding diseases

  • Nano-QuIC (2023)

Incorporates nanoparticles into RT-QuIC assays to enhance their speed and sensitivity.

"With all the doom and gloom around CWD, we have real solutions that can help us fight this disease in new ways. There's some optimism."
— Dr. Peter Larsen

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