Digging deeper into atypical BSE

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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PARMA, Italy – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced a new laboratory protocol for investigating cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The agency said information about atypical BSE is limited, and the new protocols are aimed at filling knowledge gaps. The protocols include the minimum number of cattle to be tested, processing and preparation of tissues and methods used to identify abnormal prion proteins.

The European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) collected reference materials from studies in which cattle were experimentally infected with atypical BSE. “EFSA was therefore asked to propose a laboratory protocol to perform new studies aimed at investigating the presence, distribution and relative level of infectivity of Atypical BSE [H-BSE and L-BSE\,” according to EFSA. “EFSA was also expected to reflect on whether the tissues available from the EURL study are sufficient for the purpose and/or suggest that investigations on other tissues might be possibly needed.”
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By Dan Fraser 7/22/2014 5:03:41 AM
I saw a dairy cow when in practice in the 1960s which was a clear case of BSE. Back then no one had heard of the disease. Recently there have been only 7 cases of BSE in UK in one year and that may be the normal number. In the 1960s there may have been 6 other cows with BSE that year but they may have occurred in other parts of the country and no one thought the cow was anything other than a one-off.