College of Veterinary Medicine
Effective restoration of Minnesota moose requires continued research to build on the important discoveries that have determined causal factors of moose mortality. Brainworm, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, infection was diagnosed in 25-33% of adult moose mortalities in northeast Minnesota in previous research. These researchers are using innovative approaches to understand brainworm transmission between white-tailed deer and moose to identify vulnerabilities in transmission to enable habitat management practices that benefit moose. Specifically, the lab is utilizing metagenomic approaches to identify gastropod DNA in the feces of moose and deer through a metabarcoding approach to determine which gastropod species may play an important role as an intermediate host in transmission, as well as utiling genotyping of meningeal worm larvae shed by white tailed deer to understand transmission patterns across the landscape. Each dataset will be linked to the landscape to identify vulnerabilities in brainworm transmission that may be exploited to protect moose.