New Fast Test for BSE

CANADA - The University of Manitoba reports the possibility of testing urine to detect BSE infection in live animals.
calendar icon 2 January 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

The discovery of elevated protein levels in the urine of some cows infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) raises the possibility that animals could eventually be screened, using a test similar to a home pregnancy kit, according to reports from the University of Manitoba in Canada cited by Farming UK.

Currently, cattle can only be tested after slaughter. The discovery in four infected cows was made by researchers from Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and scientists from the University.

BSE commonly known as mad-cow-disease, is unusual because there is no genetic material that is unique to it, which has made it impossible to detect even using modern technology.

Rob McNabb from the Canadian Cattleman’s Association said that a test that can be applied to live cattle means that herds can be monitored on a regular basis.

The cattle industry has been looking for this type of simple technology for the last thirty years, added Mr McNabb.

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