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Title:Soil PH and clay content associated with chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer in northern Illinois
Author(s):Dorak, Sheena Jean
Advisor(s):Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Chronic wasting disease
Abstract:Soil is an important reservoir for chronic wasting disease (CWD) which is a prion disease that infects cervids through both direct contact with infected animals and contact with contaminated environments. I built a boosted regression tree model that accurately predicted (AUC = 0.954) the probability of CWD presence in northern Illinois based on soil characteristics (soil texture, pH, cation exchange capacity, organic matter, and water content), then used the outcome to assess possible pathways by which soil characteristics increase the probability of transmission via environmental contamination. The model indicates CWD is likely to be present where: soil pH is greater than 6.6, percent clay is lower than 20%, cation exchange capacity (CEC) is lower than 15 meq/100g, and soil organic matter is less than 4.5%. Soil pH and the abundance of clays and associated soil organic matter and CEC appear to alter the availability of prions immobilized in soil. The results suggest that exposure to prions through probable routes of infection such as inhalation or ingestion is greatest where pH is greater than 6.6 and the percent clay is less than 20%.
Issue Date:2016-12-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Sheena Dorak
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-08-14
Date Deposited:2016-12

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