The MU VMDL offers two different options for postmortem CWD testing: ELISA and immunohistochemistry (IHC). See below for additional information about the available testing.
Guidelines for Postmortem Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Testing at the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
How do I decide which test I need? Should I request ELISA or IHC?
Captive cervids from herds enrolled in the Federal CWD Herd Certification Program (HCP) must be tested by IHC. Both obex and retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) must be collected by a certified sampler or veterinarian and fixed in formalin prior to shipment to the laboratory.
Wild/free-ranging cervids or cervids from Missouri hunting preserves may be tested by ELISA. Positive ELISA must be confirmed by IHC. Missouri guidelines for white-tailed deer require only retropharyngeal lymph node be tested. Free-ranging elk may also be tested by ELISA, but both obex and retropharyngeal lymph node must be submitted fresh or frozen for testing.
What are the differences in price, turnaround time, sample type, etc.?
|CWD IHC||CWD ELISA|
|Price||$45.00 for both obex + RPLN||$21.50 per sample|
|Sample Type||Formalin fixed tissue||Fresh or frozen tissue|
|Turnaround Time*||10 business days or less
(set up every other week)
|5 business days or less
(set up once a week)
|Shipping Requirements||Room temperature, expedited shipping not required||On ice via expedited courier (preferably overnight)|
*Note: Turnaround times may be longer during high volume seasons.
What if I’m not a certified sampler? Will the MU VMDL accept whole heads and collect the appropriate samples for me?
Yes, the MU VMDL will accept heads for CWD testing. A $35 dissection fee will apply in addition to the testing charges for each head submitted. Note: ear with official ID tag must be included.
Who should I contact with questions?
For questions regarding the CWD HCP or to become a certified sampler, please contact Missouri Department of Agriculture Epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Reinkemeyer (Sarah.Reinkemeyer@mda.mo.gov).
For questions regarding laboratory testing at the MU VMDL, please call 573-882-6811.