Jul 2, 2004 (CIDRAP News) Further testing has ruled out bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the second of two cattle for which initial screening tests were inconclusive, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today.
Confirmatory testing excluded BSE in the animal whose inconclusive test result was announced Jun 29, Dr. John Clifford, deputy administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in a statement released this afternoon.
The first inconclusive screening test result was reported Jun 25, and confirmatory testing excluded the disease in that animal Jun 30. The two cases were the first inconclusive screening test results reported since the USDA expanded its BSE surveillance program at the beginning of June. The agency has not said where the cattle came from.
The confirmatory tests were done by the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. The lab uses immunohistochemistry testing, which Clifford called "the world-recognized gold-standard test for BSE." The USDA has said both cattle were kept out of the human and animal food supplies.
The USDA expanded its BSE surveillance in response to the discovery of a BSE case in a cow in Washington state last December. The agency hopes to test more than 200,000 cattle over 12 to 18 months; several state veterinary labs around the country are conducting the screening tests.
Jul 2 statement by Dr. John Clifford