26 November 1999

Checking tonsils to combat scrapie

TONSIL sampling could be important in pre-clinical diagnosis of scrapie, according to researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands.

A report in Vet Record, Oct 30, says scientists believe that lab tests, backed up by results from screening 111 sheep on two farms diagnosed as scrapie positive, prove that using tonsil tissue is an effective method of screening for scrapie.

The scientists conclude that the technique could be important in detecting pre-clinical cases of scrapie, and could help in limiting the spread of scrapie throughout the sheep population. &#42