Title:  A Model-based Framework for Improving Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance in White-tailed Deer Populations of Missouri
Author(s): Aniruddha Belsare, University of Missouri; Jason Sumners, Missouri Department of Conservation; Emily Flinn; Barbara Keller, Missouri Department of Conservation; Matthew Gompper, University of Missouri; Joshua Millspaugh, University of Montana
Year: 2017
Abstract: The rising number of chronic wasting disease (CWD) infected deer detected in hunter-harvest as well as the recent discoveries of new foci of CWD in Missouri are both indicative of a continual need for CWD surveillance and monitoring. It is therefore necessary to review the current sampling approach to ensure a reliable, efficient and sustainable sampling effort. We use an agent-based modeling approach to evaluate current surveillance strategies in the context of heterogeneities arising due to sampling biases and CWD distribution in the landscape. This framework can be used to determine optimum sample sizes for meaningful surveillance and monitoring of CWD. We explore the relationship between observed (sample) prevalence and true prevalence under various assumptions and sampling regimes. Most importantly, this approach provides a framework to derive meaningful inferences from CWD surveillance data.

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