15 September 1995

MAFF BSEtest results

MAFF scientists have reported new results in their search for a test for BSE in live cattle.

The scientists, at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, have partially identified three metabolites in the urine of cattle showing signs of BSE. They have also found differences between spinal fluid taken from BSE-affec-ted cattle and unaffected controls.

They claim the results suggest markers may be present in BSE-affected animals which could help them develop a diagnostic test for the disease. But more work is needed to precisely identify the biochemicals involved.

A government advisory committee on BSE research said in 1989 that the search for a live test was "a top priority and important for both the control of the disease and further research".

A MAFF spokeswoman said the CVL work was purely on an experimental basis as part of MAFFs research programme. &#42