After detecting chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Hampshire County, West Virginia, USA, in 2005, we investigated the change of CWD apparent prevalence and potential factors influencing infection risk during the invasion front. Over eight sampling years (2006–2012 and 2017) during a 12-yr period within a 101-km2-area monitoring zone, we sampled and tested a total of 853 deer for CWD by ELISA and immunohistochemistry. Bayesian logistic regression of risk factors included collection year, age class, sex, and adjusted body weight (weight after accounting for sex, age, kidney fat index, and number of fetuses). In the whole-herd model (n=634), collection year, age, and adjusted body weight were associated with increased odds of CWD, whereas an age-weight interaction had a negative relationship. We found that males drove the positive associations with age and adjusted body weight, whereas females were responsible for the negative interaction effect. These findings suggest potential behavioral and physiological mechanisms related to sex that may influence CWD exposure. Older males exhibited higher CWD prevalence, aligning with previous studies. Notably, the novel finding of adjusted body weight as a risk factor in males warrants further investigation, and this study highlights the need for future research on social behavior and its role in CWD transmission within white-tailed deer populations.

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