Texas CWD Update 8/18/15
To those affected ranches that are having to euthanize deer, this message is for you:
Dear Texas Breeder,
Palatine Tonsillar Biopsy for CWD
Ante mortem testing for CWD can include palatine tonsil biopsy. This technique requires specialized biopsy tools and unique laryngoscopes and skilled veterinarians. However, on dead deer the harvest of these tonsils is very simple. As the industry moves to more ante mortem testing methodologies we need all the information we can accumulate. Now as we painfully move through the state mandated euthanasias to harvest tissues for submission to the regulatory authorities and the laboratory, we should all STRONGLY consider asking your accredited veterinarian to harvest the palatine tonsils separately while collecting the required Obex and retro pharyngeal lymph nodes(RPLN). These do NOT have to be submitted but can be labeled and preserved in 10% buffered formalin jars for at least one year. If any animal is diagnosed PrPCWD positive by brain or RPLN the producer would have the tonsils which could then be tested. If it can be shown that a high correlation exists between PrPCWD positive tonsil and PrPCWD positive post mortem tissues then the industry can rapidly pursue the training of technicians and veterinarians to retrieve a biopsy of the tonsils ANTE MORTEM and the education of regulators so that we do not have to euthanize valuable animals to have accuracy in diagnosis. It’s imperative that the tissues be accurately labeled. A set of hair shafts w/ follicles typically taken for DNA would be recommended as well. Set the samples aside in a cool dark place in case they are needed. To miss an opportunity such as this one on this many animals would be a major oversight on the industry’s part.
R. Greg Stewart DVM MS Ph.D
Southern Veterinary Services,Inc.