Researchers from the University of Calgary and from Germany will be looking at whether Chronic Wasting Disease in deer can spread to human populations.

CWD is spreading through deer and elk herds in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The $5 million study is the largest prion project ever funded by the Alberta Prion Research Institute.

The Institute says it’s important to know the ramifications of the disease on human health to set public policy and inform hunters and ranchers.

The tests will involve injecting non-human primates with high doses of Chronic Wasting Disease to see if they develop the disease.

The Prion Institute supports research into the proteins that cause CWD as well as Creutzfeld-Jacob disease in humans and BSE in cattle.