Start Date: Sep 15, 2004
End Date: Sep 14, 2009
This project will be done as a Specific Cooperative Agreement with the Italian BSE Reference Laboratory, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, in Turin, Italy. It is essential for the U.S. BSE surveillance program to analyze the effectiveness of the U.S diagnostic tools for detection of atypical cases of BSE. Molecular comparisons of the U.S. BSE isolate with atypical BSE isolates will provide further characterization of the U.S. BSE isolate. Transmission studies are already underway using brain homogenates from atypical BSE cases into mice, cattle and sheep. It will be critical to see whether the atypical BSE isolates behave similarly to typical BSE isolates in terms of transmissibility and disease pathogenesis. If transmission occurs, tissue distribution comparisons will be made between cattle infected with the atypical BSE isolate and the U.S. BSE isolate. Differences in tissue distribution could require new regulations regarding specific risk material (SRM) removal.