Ask The Biologist

Not So Fast

Not So Fast

By Bob Humphrey

Scientists not jumping in to support claims of CWD breakthrough.

QUESTION: I have read about possibly in a year or so there is going to be a vaccine for CWD. Is there any truth to that, and have you seen anything about it? –Ronn B.

ANSWER: I could write an entire feature article on the topic, and probably will be asked to by my editor. In the meantime, I’ll start by saying things have certainly come to a head in recent months.

It’s been a warm topic for quite some time but really got hot when Pennsylvania ecologist John Eveland announced a possible cure. Eveland, who recently conducted a comprehensive assessment of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s deer management program, made his announcement at a February 2 press conference organized by Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania and held at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.

Not So FastReferring to recent the work of neuropathologist Dr. Frank Bastian with the Louisiana State University College of Agriculture, Eveland proclaimed, “After decades of searching, no cure has been found for this supposedly prion-caused disease; that is until now.”

Critics were quick to counter with contrary evidence refuting Eveland’s claims and Bastian’s work. Interestingly, though, while the countering evidence had apparently been around for some time, it had not largely been disseminated until Eveland’s proclamation.

It would appear, at least for the moment, we are right back where we started.

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