ARS ET AL STILL IN DENIAL ABOUT MAD COW DISEASE IN U.S.A.
Agricultural Research/May-June 2009
Back to the Past With New TSE Testing
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are rare—but lethal— neurodegenerative disorders that affect a range of mammals, including humans. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)—or “mad cow disease”—is one TSE that has had significant economic and public health impact. The TSEs in the United States are found in sheep, goats, elk, and deer.
TSE epidemiology is complicated by the fact that a definitive diagnosis cannot be made until after an animal has died. ARS chemist Eric Nicholson and veterinary medical officer Robert Kunkle have found a way to facilitate postmortem TSE diagnoses—even when tissue samples are in short supply. Proteins called “prions” are produced in all animals. But the development of abnormal prions is believed to prompt the onset of TSE-related damage to brain tissue. If an animal dies from a TSE infection, both abnormal and healthy prions can be found in its body tissues.
Researchers check tissues for abnormal prions with either Western blotting (WB) or immunohistochemistry (IHC). WB is used for fresh or frozen tissues, and IHC is used to test formalin- fixed tissue that has never been frozen. Sometimes only formalin-fixed tissues are available for testing—a situation the BSE surveillance program faced in 2005, when an entire tissue sample was inadvertently preserved in formalin. In that instance, initial IHC results were not conclusive, but there were no other fresh or frozen tissue samples available for WB testing. Nicholson and Kunkle, who work at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, wanted to help scientists avoid similar situations in the future. They found a way to extract and identify abnormal prions in formalin-fixed tissue by using a combination of mild detergent, a series of freeze-boil cycles, and enzyme digestion. Initial results indicate that the accuracy of this method begins to decline 2 years after the tissue is first preserved, and is completely lost at the end of 6 years. “With this technique, we can easily distinguish between tissues from TSE-positive and TSE-negative animals,” Nicholson says. “And it requires only a minimal adaptation of existing Western blotting procedures.”
Nicholson and Kunkle also devised a way to use WB to test for TSE in tissues that had been fixed in formalin and preserved in paraffin. Their results equaled—and at times even exceeded— the effectiveness of WB analysis for tissues that had only been fixed in formalin.
These combined results add to the tools animal scientists can use to study the development and spread of TSEs. Their findings will facilitate WB testing of tissue samples that were originally archived for microscopy examination and should simplify preservation of samples collected in the field.
WB and IHC analyses can also be conducted on the same preserved sample—a breakthrough that could significantly enhance ongoing TSE research in the field and in the lab.—By Ann Perry, ARS.
This research is part of Animal Health, an ARS national program (#103) described on the World Wide Web at www.nps. ars.usda.gov.
Eric M. Nicholson and Robert A. Kunkle are with the USDAARS National Animal Disease Center, 2300 Dayton Ave., Ames, IA 50010; phone (515) 663-7443 [Nicholson], (515) 663-7190 [Kunkle], fax (515) 663-7458, e-mail mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. gov, mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:email@example.com. ?
Chemist Eric Nicholson (left) and veterinary medical officer Robert Kunkle discuss a Western blot image from a TSE test of formalinfixed tissues.
Agricultural Research/May-June 2009
>>> The TSEs in the United States are found in sheep, goats, elk, and deer. <<<
QUESTIONs PLEASE ;
IS Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy i.e. TME, not a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy ?
DID the mad cow in TEXAS (the h-BSE atypical that WAS FINALLY confirmed), and the h-BSE atypical in Alabama, are these not confirmed cases of a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy ?
NOW, one could also argue that this was another cases of mad cow disease in Texas, one that was cover-up ;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Statement
May 4, 2004 Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242 Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms
On Friday, April 30 th , the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed. FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse. FDA's investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into "meat and bone meal" (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA. Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known as "mad cow disease," can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA's animal feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison). FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs. To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle. Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA's action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry. FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger. ####
I wouldn't doubt that the APHIS/USDA et al even try to persuade the WHO at the next meeting to exempt atypical BSE in the USA as with the Nor-98 atypical scrapie they are trying to get exempt. they are so out of touch with reality on the true extent of mad cow disease in the USA that i think they now believe their own lies. ...TSS
Saturday, May 2, 2009
APHIS AND WHO PLAN TO EXEMPT THE ATYPICAL SCRAPIE NOR-98 FROM REGULATIONS AT MEETING THIS MONTH
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Nor98-like Scrapie in the United States of America
hmm, were these not Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy cases ???
IS THERE A SCRAPIE-LIKE DISEASE IN CATTLE ?
In April of 1985, a mink rancher in Wisconsin reported a debilitating neurologic disease in his herd which we diagnosed as TME by histopathologic findings confirmed by experimental transmission to mink and squirrel monkeys.
The rancher was a ''dead stock'' feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle and a few horses. Sheep had never been fed. We believe that these findings may indicate the presence of a previously unrecognized scrapie-like disease in cattle and wish to alert dairy practitioners to this possibility.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE SEVENTH ANNUAL WESTERN CONFERENCE FOR FOOD ANIMAL VETERINARY MEDICINE, University of Arizona, March 17-19, 1986
Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME. Since previous incidences of TME were associated with common or shared feeding practices, we obtained a careful history of feed ingredients used over the past 12-18 months. ***The rancher was a “dead stock” feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle and a few horses. Sheep had never been fed.***
Saturday, May 2, 2009
U.S. GOVERNMENT SUES WESTLAND/HALLMARK MEAT OVER USDA CERTIFIED DEADSTOCK DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Atypical BSE North America Update February 2009 Both of the BSE cases ascertained in the US native-born cattle were atypical cases (H-type), which contributed to the initial ambiguity of the diagnosis. 174, 185 In Canada, there have been 2 atypical BSE cases in addition to the 14 cases of the classic UK strain of BSE2: one was the H-type, and the other was of the L-type.198 snip...end source : Enhanced Abstract Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association January 1, 2009, Vol. 234, No. 1, Pages 59-72 Bovine spongiform encephalopathy Jane L. Harman, DVM, PhD; Christopher J. Silva, PhD
Atypical BSE North America Update February 2009
I ask Professor Kong ;
Thursday, December 04, 2008 3:37 PM Subject: RE: re--Chronic Wating Disease (CWD) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathies (BSE): Public Health Risk Assessment
''IS the h-BSE more virulent than typical BSE as well, or the same as cBSE, or less virulent than cBSE? just curious.....''
Professor Kong reply ;
''As to the H-BSE, we do not have sufficient data to say one way or another, but we have found that H-BSE can infect humans. I hope we could publish these data once the study is complete. Thanks for your interest.''
Best regards, Qingzhong Kong, PhD Associate Professor Department of Pathology Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 44106 USA
I look forward to further transmission studies, and a true ENHANCED BSE/atypical BSE surveillance program put forth testing all cattle for human and animal consumption for 5 years. a surveillance program that uses the most sensitive TSE testing, and has the personnel that knows how to use them, and can be trusted. I look forward to a stringent mad cow feed ban being put forth, and then strictly enforced. we need a forced, not voluntary feed ban, an enhanced feed ban at that, especially excluding blood. we need some sort of animal traceability. no more excuses about privacy. if somebody is putting out a product that is killing folks and or has the potential to kill you, then everybody needs to know who they are, and where that product came from. same with hospitals, i think medical incidents in all states should be recorded, and made public, when it comes to something like a potential accidental transmission exposure event. so if someone is out there looking at a place to go have surgery done, if you have several hospitals having these type 'accidental exposure events', than you can go some place else. it only makes sense. somewhere along the road, the consumer lost control, and just had to take whatever they were given, and then charged these astronomical prices. some where along the line the consumer just lost interest, especially on a long incubating disease such as mad cow disease i.e. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. like i said before, there is much more to the mad cow story than bovines and eating a hamburger, we must start focusing on all TSE in all species. ...TSS
Month Number of Tests
Feb 2009 -- 1,891
Jan 2009 -- 4,620
Molecular Features of the Protease-resistant Prion Protein (PrPres) in H-type BSE
Biacabe, A-G1; Jacobs, JG2; Gavier-Widén, D3; Vulin, J1; Langeveld, JPM2; Baron, TGM1 1AFSSA, France; 2CIDC-Lelystad, Netherlands; 3SVA, Sweden
Western blot analyses of PrPres accumulating in the brain of BSE-infected cattle have demonstrated 3 different molecular phenotypes regarding to the apparent molecular masses and glycoform ratios of PrPres bands. We initially described isolates (H-type BSE) essentially characterized by higher PrPres molecular mass and decreased levels of the diglycosylated PrPres band, in contrast to the classical type of BSE. This type is also distinct from another BSE phenotype named L-type BSE, or also BASE (for Bovine Amyloid Spongiform Encephalopathy), mainly characterized by a low representation of the diglycosylated PrPres band as well as a lower PrPres molecular mass. Retrospective molecular studies in France of all available BSE cases older than 8 years old and of part of the other cases identified since the beginning of the exhaustive surveillance of the disease in 20001 allowed to identify 7 H-type BSE cases, among 594 BSE cases that could be classified as classical, L- or H-type BSE. By Western blot analysis of H-type PrPres, we described a remarkable specific feature with antibodies raised against the C-terminal region of PrP that demonstrated the existence of a more C-terminal cleaved form of PrPres (named PrPres#2 ), in addition to the usual PrPres form (PrPres #1). In the unglycosylated form, PrPres #2 migrates at about 14 kDa, compared to 20 kDa for PrPres #1. The proportion of the PrPres#2 in cattle seems to by higher compared to the PrPres#1. Furthermore another PK-resistant fragment at about 7 kDa was detected by some more N-terminal antibodies and presumed to be the result of cleavages of both N- and C-terminal parts of PrP. These singular features were maintained after transmission of the disease to C57Bl/6 mice. The identification of these two additional PrPres fragments (PrPres #2 and 7kDa band) reminds features reported respectively in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and in Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) syndrome in humans.
Research Project: Study of Atypical Bse Location: Virus and Prion Diseases of Livestock
Project Number: 3625-32000-086-05 Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2004 End Date: Sep 14, 2009
Objective: The objective of this cooperative research project with Dr. Maria Caramelli from the Italian BSE Reference Laboratory in Turin, Italy, is to conduct comparative studies with the U.S. bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) isolate and the atypical BSE isolates identified in Italy. The studies will cover the following areas: 1. Evaluation of present diagnostics tools used in the U.S. for the detection of atypical BSE cases. 2. Molecular comparison of the U.S. BSE isolate and other typical BSE isolates with atypical BSE cases. 3. Studies on transmissibility and tissue distribution of atypical BSE isolates in cattle and other species.
Approach: 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.
Sunday, April 12, 2009 TRANSMISSION OF ATYPICAL BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY (BSE) IN HUMANIZED MOUSE MODELS
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy h-BSE ATYPICAL USA 2008 Annual Report Research Project: Study of Atypical Bse
Location: Virus and Prion Diseases of Livestock
2008 Annual Report
HUMAN AND ANIMAL TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY, the silent pandemic
April 28, 2009 11:13 AM
the mad cow feed ban i.e. ruminant to ruminant feed ban was a long time over due. since august 4, 1997, since the inception of the PARTIAL and VOLUNTARY ban, the ban has been flouted, and thought of as nothing more than a joke. the feed ban of august 4, 1997 was nothing more than ink on paper. in 2007 alone, in one weekly enforcement letter, 10 MILLION PLUS POUNDS OF BANNED, BLOOD LACED MEAT AND BONE MEAL went out in commerce, to be fed out from state to state. there were many more since the infamous fda mad cow feed ban that never was. the industry need not look any further than the mirror to find the one to blame. they have had 12 years to get their house in order, but they chose to ignore the ban, the science, and to conduct business as usual i.e. feeding SRMs to human and livestock producing animals. no good, prions kill. this is not rocket science. all one has to do is look at the transmission studies. it's what i call the 'silent pandemic'. most all of us have been exposed, some are dying, but it is the friendly fire, and the very long incubation period that is fooling everyone. sporadic CJDs are on the rise, and the UKBSEnvCJD hamburger eating adolescents only theory was nothing more than a pipe dream. it's wrong, and for those that continue to follow this bogus theory will only enhance and spread all TSEs globally in doing so. North America has documented not only the typical cBSE, but also the h-BSE, and the l-BSE atypicals have been documented. CWD rampant in deer and elk, Scrapie, and the Nor-98 atypical scrapie in sheep and goats, with the latest scrapie case documented in a goat in March 2009 in the USA. North America is awash in animal TSEs, and again, sporadic CJD is rising, with atypical cases of CJD in young in the USA, what's that ??? rest asure, the cdc/USDA et al will assure, it's nothing. i don't believe them. ...TSS
National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center Cases Examined1 (December 31, 2008)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY UPDATE (the silent pandemic) AND Agricultural Bioterrorism
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Docket No. FDA2002N0031 (formerly Docket No. 2002N0273) RIN 0910AF46 Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed; Final Rule: Proposed
Sunday, April 12, 2009 r-calf and the USA mad cow problem, don't look, don't find, and then blame Canada
Docket APHIS-2006-0041 Docket Title Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions; Importation of Live Bovines and Products Derived from Bovines Commodities Docket Type Rulemaking Document APHIS-2006-0041-0001 Document Title Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions; Importation of Live Bovines and Products Derived From Bovines Public Submission APHIS-2006-0041-0028 Public Submission Title Comment from Terry S Singletary
Comment 2006-2007 USA AND OIE POISONING GLOBE WITH BSE MRR POLICY
THE USA is in a most unique situation, one of unknown circumstances with human and animal TSE. THE USA has the most documented TSE in different species to date, with substrains growing in those species (BSE/BASE in cattle and CWD in deer and elk, there is evidence here with different strains), and we know that sheep scrapie has over 20 strains of the typical scrapie with atypical scrapie documented and also BSE is very likely to have passed to sheep. all of which have been rendered and fed back to animals for human and animal consumption, a frightening scenario. WE do not know the outcome, and to play with human life around the globe with the very likely TSE tainted products from the USA, in my opinion is like playing Russian roulette, of long duration, with potential long and enduring consequences, of which once done, cannot be undone. These are the facts as I have come to know through daily and extensive research of TSE over 9 years, since 12/14/97. I do not pretend to have all the answers, but i do know to continue to believe in the ukbsenvcjd only theory of transmission to humans of only this one strain from only this one TSE from only this one part of the globe, will only lead to further failures, and needless exposure to humans from all strains of TSE, and possibly many more needless deaths from TSE via a multitude of proven routes and sources via many studies with primates and rodents and other species.
MY personal belief, since you ask, is that not only the Canadian border, but the USA border, and the Mexican border should be sealed up tighter than a drum for exporting there TSE tainted products, until a validated, 100% sensitive test is available, and all animals for human and animal consumption are tested. all we are doing is the exact same thing the UK did with there mad cow poisoning when they exported it all over the globe, all the while knowing what they were doing. this BSE MRR policy is nothing more than a legal tool to do just exactly what the UK did, thanks to the OIE and GW, it's legal now. and they executed Saddam for poisoning ???
go figure. ...
Docket APHIS-2006-0041 Docket Title Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions; Importation of Live Bovines and Products Derived from Bovines Commodities Docket Type Rulemaking Document APHIS-2006-0041-0001 Document Title Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions; Importation of Live Bovines and Products Derived From Bovines Public Submission APHIS-2006-0041-0028.1 Public Submission Title Attachment to Singletary comment
January 28, 2007
I would kindly like to submit the following to ;
BSE; MRR; IMPORTATION OF LIVE BOVINES AND PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM BOVINES [Docket No. APHIS-2006-0041] RIN 0579-AC01
IN A NUT SHELL ; $$$
(Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 23 May 2006)
11. Information published by the OIE is derived from appropriate declarations made by the official Veterinary Services of Member Countries.The OIE is not responsible for inaccurate publication of country disease status based on inaccurate information or changes in epidemiological status or other significant events that were not promptly reported to then Central Bureau............
Owner and Corporation Plead Guilty to Defrauding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program
An Arizona meat processing company and its owner pled guilty in February 2007 to charges of theft of Government funds, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The owner and his company defrauded the BSE Surveillance Program when they falsified BSE Surveillance Data Collection Forms and then submitted payment requests to USDA for the services. In addition to the targeted sample population (those cattle that were more than 30 months old or had other risk factors for BSE), the owner submitted to USDA, or caused to be submitted, BSE obex (brain stem) samples from healthy USDA-inspected cattle. As a result, the owner fraudulently received approximately $390,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 2007.
4 USDA OIG SEMIANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS FY 2007 1st Half
USDA: In 9,200 cases only one type of test could be used
WASHINGTON (AP)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledged Aug. 17 that its testing options for bovine spongiform encephalopathy were limited in 9,200 cases despite its effort to expand surveillance throughout the U.S. herd.
In those cases, only one type of test was used--one that failed to detect the disease in an infected Texas cow.
The department posted the information on its website because of an inquiry from The Associated Press.
Conducted over the past 14 months, the tests have not been included in the department's running tally of BSE tests since last summer. That total reached 439,126 on Aug. 17.
"There's no secret program," the department's chief veterinarian, John Clifford, said in an interview. "There has been no hiding, I can assure you of that."
Officials intended to report the tests later in an annual report, Clifford said.
These 9,200 cases were different because brain tissue samples were preserved with formalin, which makes them suitable for only one type of test--immunohistochemistry, or IHC.
In the Texas case, officials had declared the cow free of disease in November after an IHC test came back negative. The department's inspector general ordered an additional kind of test, which confirmed the animal was infected.
Veterinarians in remote locations have used the preservative on tissue to keep it from degrading on its way to the department's laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Officials this year asked veterinarians to stop using preservative and send fresh or chilled samples within 48 hours.
The department recently investigated a possible case of BSE that turned up in a preserved sample. Further testing ruled out the disease two weeks ago.
Scientists used two additional tests--rapid screening and Western blot--to help detect BSE in the country's second confirmed case, in a Texas cow in June. They used IHC and Western blot to confirm the first case, in a Washington state cow in December 2003.
"The IHC test is still an excellent test," Clifford said. "These are not simple tests, either."
Clifford pointed out that scientists reran the IHC several times and got conflicting results. That happened, too, with the Western blot test. Both tests are accepted by international animal health officials.
""These 9,200 cases were different because brain tissue samples were preserved with formalin, which makes them suitable for only one type of test--immunohistochemistry, or IHC."
THIS WAS DONE FOR A REASON!
THE IHC test has been proven to be the LEAST LIKELY to detect BSE/TSE in the bovine, and these were probably from the most high risk cattle pool, the ones the USDA et al, SHOULD have been testing. ...TSS
We have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brain stem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They've recently gone back. Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an 'official' test result as recognized by APHIS.
Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.
Dr. Detwiler: It seems a good idea, but I'm not aware of it. Another important thing to get across to the public is that the negatives do not guarantee absence of infectivity. The animal could be early in the disease and the incubation period. Even sample collection is so important. If you're not collecting the right area of the brain in sheep, or if collecting lymphoreticular tissue, and you don't get a good biopsy, you could miss the area with the PRP in it and come up with a negative test. There's a new, unusual form of Scrapie that's been detected in Norway. We have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brain stem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They've recently gone back.
Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an 'official' test result as recognized by APHIS .
Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.
Completely Edited Version PRION ROUNDTABLE
Accomplished this day, Wednesday, December 11, 2003, Denver, Colorado
CDC DR. PAUL BROWN TSE EXPERT COMMENTS 2006
The U.S. Department of Agriculture was quick to assure the public earlier this week that the third case of mad cow disease did not pose a risk to them, but what federal officials have not acknowledged is that this latest case indicates the deadly disease has been circulating in U.S. herds for at least a decade.
The second case, which was detected last year in a Texas cow and which USDA officials were reluctant to verify, was approximately 12 years old.
These two cases (the latest was detected in an Alabama cow) present a picture of the disease having been here for 10 years or so, since it is thought that cows usually contract the disease from contaminated feed they consume as calves. The concern is that humans can contract a fatal, incurable, brain-wasting illness from consuming beef products contaminated with the mad cow pathogen.
"The fact the Texas cow showed up fairly clearly implied the existence of other undetected cases," Dr. Paul Brown, former medical director of the National Institutes of Health's Laboratory for Central Nervous System Studies and an expert on mad cow-like diseases, told United Press International. "The question was, 'How many?' and we still can't answer that."
Brown, who is preparing a scientific paper based on the latest two mad cow cases to estimate the maximum number of infected cows that occurred in the United States, said he has "absolutely no confidence in USDA tests before one year ago" because of the agency's reluctance to retest the Texas cow that initially tested positive.
USDA officials finally retested the cow and confirmed it was infected seven months later, but only at the insistence of the agency's inspector general.
"Everything they did on the Texas cow makes everything USDA did before 2005 suspect," Brown said. ...snip...end
CDC - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt ... Dr. Paul Brown is Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Central Nervous System ... Address for correspondence: Paul Brown, Building 36, Room 4A-05, ...
In this context, a word is in order about the US testing program. After the discovery of the first (imported) cow in 2003, the magnitude of testing was much increased, reaching a level of >400,000 tests in 2005 (Figure 4). Neither of the 2 more recently indigenously infected older animals with nonspecific clinical features would have been detected without such testing, and neither would have been identified as atypical without confirmatory Western blots. Despite these facts, surveillance has now been decimated to 40,000 annual tests (USDA news release no. 0255.06, July 20, 2006) and invites the accusation that the United States will never know the true status of its involvement with BSE.
In short, a great deal of further work will need to be done before the phenotypic features and prevalence of atypical BSE are understood. More than a single strain may have been present from the beginning of the epidemic, but this possibility has been overlooked by virtue of the absence of widespread Western blot confirmatory testing of positive screening test results; or these new phenotypes may be found, at least in part, to result from infections at an older age by a typical BSE agent, rather than neonatal infections with new "strains" of BSE. Neither alternative has yet been investigated.
In June 2005, an inconclusive bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) sample from November 2004, that had originally been classified as negative on the immunohistochemistry test, was confirmed positive on SAF immunoblot (Western blot). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified the herd of origin for the index cow in Texas; that identification was confirmed by DNA analysis. USDA, in close cooperation with the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), established an incident command post (ICP) and began response activities according to USDA’s BSE Response Plan of September 2004. Response personnel removed at-risk cattle and cattle of interest (COI) from the index herd, euthanized them, and tested them for BSE; all were negative. USDA and the State extensively traced all at-risk cattle and COI that left the index herd. The majority of these animals entered rendering and/or slaughter channels well before the investigation began. USDA’s response to the Texas finding was thorough and effective.
Report on Food & Drug Administration Dallas District Investigation of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Event in Texas 2005 Executive Summary: On June 24, 2005, USDA informed FDA that a cow in Texas tested positive for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Information provided by APHIS was that the BSE positive cow was born and raised in a herd in Texas and was approximately 12 years old. The animal was sampled for BSE at a pet food plant in Texas on November 15, 2004, as part of USDA’s enhanced surveillance program.
Texas even had a 'secret' test that showed that mad cow positive; experimental IHC test results, because the test was not a validated procedure, and because the two approved IHC tests came back negative, the results were not considered to be of regulatory significance and therefore were not reported beyond the laboratory. • A Western blot test conducted the week of June 5, 2005, returned positive for BSE.
48 hr BSE confirmation turnaround took 7+ months to confirm this case, so the BSE MRR policy could be put into place. ...
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: re-USDA's surveillance plan for BSE aka mad cow diseaseDate: Mon, 02 May 2005 16:59:07 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov, mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:contactOIG@hhsc.state.tx.us Greetings Honorable Paul Feeney, Keith Arnold, and William Busbyet al at OIG, ...............
There will be several more emails of my research to follow. I respectfully request a full inquiry into the cover-up of TSEs in the United States of America over the past 30 years. I would be happy to testify...
Thank you, I am sincerely, Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518 xxx xxx xxxx
Safeguarding American Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service • United States Department of Agriculture •
THIS confirms that the June 2004 Enhanced BSE cover-up, was just that. Like i said before, due to this terribly flawed system, those 388,000 testing to date for BSE in the USA were meaningless and should be retested. ...
Subject: USDA JOHANN'S MAD ABOUT FONG, PLANS HIS OWN LAB AND HIS OWN MAD COW ANTIBODIES ;-) Date: July 29, 2005 at 2:35 pm PST
Friday, July 29, 2005
USDA did not test possible mad cows
By Steve Mitchell United Press International Published 6/8/2004 9:30 PM
WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture claims ittested 500 cows with signs of a brain disorder for mad cow disease last year, but agency documents obtained by United Press International show the agency tested only half that number.
USDA officials said the difference is made up in animals tested at state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, but these animals were not tested using the "gold standard" test employed by the agency for confirming acase of the deadly disease. Instead, the state labs used a less sensitive test that experts say could miss mad cow cases.
In addition, the state lab figures were not included in a March 2004 USDA document estimating the number of animals most likely to be infected among U.S. herds, and apparently were not given to a congressional committee that had requested agency data on the number of cows with brain disorder signs that had been tested for the disease.
"This is just adding to the demise of USDA's credibility," said Felicia Nestor, senior policy adviser to the Government Accountability Project, a group in Washington, D.C., that works with federal whistleblowers.
"If the USDA is going to exclude from testing the animals most likely to have the disease, that would seem to have a very negative impact on there liability of their conclusion," Nestor told UPI.
Nestor, who has monitored the USDA's mad cow surveillance program closely for several years, asked, "Are they deliberately avoiding testing animals that look like they have the disease?"
Concerns about the number of cows in U.S. herds with brain disorder symptoms have been heightened due to the recent case in Texas, in which USDA officials failed to test an animal with such symptoms, also known as central nervous system or CNS signs. This was a violation of USDA policy, which stipulates all CNS cows should be tested because they are considered the most likely to be mad cow infected. To date, the Washington cow that tested positive last December is the only confirmed case of mad cow disease -- also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- among U.S. herds.
The Texas incident has alarmed the public and members of Congress because humans can contract a fatal brain disorder called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from consuming meat infected with the mad cow pathogen. If the USDA's surveillance program is allowing the riskiest cows to go untested, it raises concerns about the ability of the monitoring system to detect the disease reliably in U.S. herds, Rep.Henry Waxman, D-Calif., charged in a May 13 letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.
Dr. Peter Lurie, of the consumer group Public Citizen, said CNS cows should be the one category that absolutely has to be tested to have a sound surveillance system.
"CNS animals are far and away the most important animals to test," said Lurie, who has done several analyses of the USDA's mad cow surveillance program.
"If there's any category that needs 100 percent testing, that's it, because they would be the most likely place to find mad cow in America," he told UPI. "Any CNS cow that slips into the food supply represents a major case of malpractice by USDA, and similarly, the failure to test the brain of that animal to see if it was indeed infected is really a failure to protect the public."
USDA officials said the agency has no estimate on how many CNS cows occur in U.S. herds. But spokesman Ed Loyd has told UPI, and at least one other media outlet, that 500 CNS cows were tested in fiscal year 2003. Yet agency testing records for the first 10 months of FY 2003, obtained by UPI under the Freedom of Information Act, show only 254 animals that fall under the CNS category -- or about half the number Loyd cited.
After failing to respond to repeated requests from UPI for clarification of the apparent discrepancy, Loyd finally offered the explanation that an additional 45 CNS cows were tested by the USDA during the final two months of FY 2003. The remainder, he said, was made up by CNS cases tested at various state veterinary diagnostic laboratories.
"We also include data reported to us from state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and all of these are CNS cases that have been tested for BSE using a histological examination," Loyd said.
"We were not using any other labs during this period, other than (the USDA lab), to run the IHC tests for BSE, which is the gold standard," he said. "This (state laboratory) information contributes important data to our surveillance effort."
However, the state labs did not use the immunohistochemistry test, which the USDA has called the "gold standard" for diagnosing mad cow disease. Instead, the labs used a different test called histopathology, which theUSDA itself does not use to confirm a case, opting instead for the more sensitive IHC test.
The histopathology test, unlike the IHC test, does not detect prions --misfolded proteins that serve as a marker for infection and can be spotted early on in the course of the illness. Rather, it screens forthe microscopic holes in the brain that are characteristic of advanced mad cow disease.
According to the USDA's Web site, histopathology proves reliable only if the brain sample is removed soon after the death of the animal. If there is too much of a delay, the Web site states, it can be "very difficult to confirm a diagnosis by histopathology" because the brain structures may have begun to disintegrate.
That is one reason the agency began using the IHC test -- it can confirm a diagnosis if the brain has begun disintegrating or been frozen for shipping.
The state labs used histopathology to screen 266 CNS cases in FY 2003, as well as 257 cases in FY 2002, according to Loyd. He did not explain why this information was not included in the testing records the agency provided to UPI and has not responded to requests for the identity of the state labs.
Linda Detwiler, a former USDA veterinarian who oversaw the agency's madcow testing program, told UPI the histopathology test probably is adequate for screening CNS cows. If they have mad cow disease, she said, it would likely be an advanced stage that should be obvious.
Other mad cow disease experts, however, said having a back-up test suchas IHC would be advisable, because histopathology tests sometimes can miss evidence of infection.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations offers similar recommendations in its protocol for conducing a histopathology test. The protocol states that even if histopathology is negative,"further sampling should be undertaken" in cases "where clinical signs have strongly suggested BSE" -- a criteria that includes all of the cows tested at the state labs.
The USDA seems to agree on the need for a back-up test. Its expanded surveillance program, which began June 1, calls for using IHC -- or another test called Western blot -- to confirm any positives found on rapid tests. The March 15 document that describes the new program does not mention using histopathology to confirm cases of mad cow disease.
"Subtle changes can be missed on histopathology that would probably not be as easy to miss using IHC," said Elizabeth Mumford, a veterinarian and BSE expert at Safe Food Solutions in Bern, Switzerland, a company that provides advice on reducing mad cow risk to industry and governments.
"Therefore I believe it is valuable to run (histopathology)," Mumford told UPI.
She noted that in Europe, two tests -- neither one the histopathology test -- are used to ensure no cases are missed. A rapid test is used initially for screening, followed by IHC as a confirmatory test.
Markus Moser, a molecular biologist and chief executive officer of the Swiss firm Prionics, which manufactures tests for detecting mad cow disease, agrees about the possibility of a case being missed by histopathology.
"There were cases which were (histopathology) negative but still clearly positive with the other (testing) methods," Moser said. "BSE testing based on histology on sub-optimal tissue was probably one of the reasons why Germany was allegedly BSE-free until our test discovered that they were not" in 2000, Moser told UPI.
He agreed with Detwiler that histopathology should be suitable for most cases of CNS cows, but added it still can fail to detect the disease in some CNS cases -- particularly if the sample is not optimum.
"It is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the subtle changes in a diseased brain from artifacts like ruptures in the tissue due to tissue damage during the sampling, transport or preparation," he said.
Loyd asserted the additional CNS cases from the state labs actually yielded a total of 565 such cows the USDA had tested -- 65 more than his original figure of 500. Whether the USDA considers its total to be 500 or 565, however, either figure would exceed the agency's own estimates for the total number of such cows that it identifies annually.
According to data the USDA provided to the House Committee on Government Reform, and numbers the agency included in the March document about its expanded surveillance plan, only 201 to 249 CNS cows are identified at slaughterhouses. Approximately 129 additional cases occur on farms annually. At most, that yields a combined total of 378 CNS cows, or nearly 200 less than the 565 Loyd claims the agency tested.
The USDA surveillance plan document makes no mention of the number of CNS animals tested at state veterinary diagnostic labs. The figure also does not appear to be included in the agency's estimates of the number of high-risk animals that occur in the United States each year. The latter number was used to help the USDA calculate the number of animals it will screen for mad cow disease in its expanded surveillance plan.
USDA officials also did not include the state lab figures in response to a question from the House Committee on Government Reform, a source close to the issue told UPI. The committee, on which Waxman is the ranking Democrat, had requested in a March 8 letter to Veneman that she provide "the number of BSE tests that were conducted on cattle exhibiting central nervous system symptoms" for each of the last five years.
Loyd did not respond to a request from UPI asking why agency officials did not provide that information to the committee or include it in USDA's explanation of its expanded surveillance plan.
The committee has taken note of the CNS issue and plans to delve into it further in a hearing slated for sometime in the next few months.
"The committee will explore this and other issues surrounding USDA and BSE testing at a hearing later this summer," Drew Crockett, spokesman for the committee, told UPI.
Steve Mitchell is UPI's Medical Correspondent. E-mail mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:email@example.com
Copyright © 2001-2004 United Press International
''USDA gets a D or D minus," said Caroline Smith Dewaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group based in Washington. ''The best thing that came out of this is the work of the inspector general."
It was the department's in-house watchdog, Inspector General Phyllis Fong, who skirted the USDA hierarchy by ordering retesting with a different method more than six months after a routine second-round test, known as the immunohistochemistry, or IHC, test proved negative for the disease.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who assumed office in January, has said he neither knew about nor authorized the retesting by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.
BESIDES the Texas mad cow that sat on the shelf for 7+ months before the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG finally did the end around Johanns et al and finally had Weybridge bring that negative cow back from the dead to finally being a confirmed mad cow (hint, hint, getting MRR implemented first), was this simply another bumbling of BSE protocol, or just same old same old;
Jim Rogers (202) 690-4755
USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623
Statement by Chief Veterinary Medical Officer John Clifford Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test ResultsJuly 27, 2005
Our laboratory ran the IHC test on the sample and received non-definitive results that suggest the need for further testing. As we have previously experienced, it is possible for an IHC test to yield differing results depending on the “slice” of tissue that is tested. Therefore, scientists at our laboratory and at Weybridge will run the IHC test on additional “slices” of tissue from this animal to determine whether or not it was infected with BSE. We will announce results as soon as they are compiled, which we expect to occur by next week.
I would note that the sample was taken in April, at which time the protocols allowed for a preservative to be used (protocols changed in June 2005). The sample was not submitted to us until last week, because the veterinarian set aside the sample after preserving it and simply forgot to send it in. On that point, I would like to emphasize that while that time lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human health. The carcass of this animal was destroyed, therefore there is absolutely no risk to human or animal health from this animal.
Subject: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results
Date: July 27, 2005 at 12:37 pm PST
Jim Rogers (202) 690-4755Jerry Redding (202) 720-6959
Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results
Late yesterday, we received non-definitive test results on an animal sampled as part of a voluntary extension of our enhanced BSE surveillance program. USDA is conducting further testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, in consultation with experts from the international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England. We are also sending samples from this animal to the Weybridge laboratory for further testing. It is important to note that this animal poses no threat to our food supply because it did not enter the human food or animal feed chains.
The sample was submitted to us by a private veterinarian. As an extension of our enhanced surveillance program, accredited private veterinarians, who often visit farms in remote areas, collect samples when warranted. The sample in question today was taken from a cow that was at least 12 years of age and experienced complications during calving. The veterinarian treated the sample with a preservative, which readies it for testing using the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test - an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE. Neither the rapid screening test nor the Western blot confirmatory test can be conducted on a sample that has been preserved.
Our laboratory ran the IHC test on the sample and received non-definitive results that suggest the need for further testing. As we have previously experienced, it is possible for an IHC test to yield differing results depending on the â?osliceâ? of tissue that is tested. Therefore, scientists at our laboratory and at Weybridge will run the IHC test on additional â?oslicesâ? of tissue from this animal to determine whether or not it was infected with BSE. We will announce results as soon as they are compiled, which we expect to occur by next week.I would note that the sample was taken in April, at which time the protocols allowed for a preservative to be used (protocols changed in June 2005).
The sample was not submitted to us until last week, because the veterinarian set aside the sample after preserving it and simply forgot to send it in. On that point, I would like to emphasize that while that time lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human health. The carcass of this animal was destroyed, therefore there is absolutely no risk to human or animal health from this animal.
Regardless of the outcome of the further testing, I want to emphasize that human and animal health in the United States are protected by a system of interlocking safeguards. The most important of these is the ban on specified risk materials from the food supply and the Food and Drug Administrations feed ban. And by any measure, the incidence of BSE in this country is extremely low. Our enhanced surveillance program is designed to provide information about the level of prevalence of BSE in the United States. We are extremely gratified that to date, all sectors of the cattle industry have cooperated in this program by submitting samples from more than 419,000 animals from the highest risk populations. To date, only one animal has tested positive for the disease as part of the surveillance program. These interlocking safeguards continue to protect our food supply.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS home page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ and click on the â?oNewsâ? button. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org leave the subject blank. In the message, typesubscribe press_releases.USDA mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000061/!x-usc:mailto:Newsoc.email@example.com 720-4623----------------------------------------------------
"The sample was submitted to us by a private veterinarian. As an extension of our enhanced surveillance program, accredited private veterinarians who often visit farms in remote areas collect samples when warranted. The sample in question today was taken from a cow that was at least 12 years of age and experienced complications during calving.
"The veterinarian treated the sample with a preservative which readies it for testing using the immunohistochemistry test, an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE.
"Neither the rapid screening test nor the Western blot confirmatory test can be conducted on a sample that has been preserved. Our laboratory ran the IHC test on the sample and received non-definitive results that suggest the need for further testing.
"As we have previously experienced, it is possible for an IHC test to yield differing results, depending on the slice of tissue that is tested. Therefore scientists at our laboratory and at Weybridge will run the IHC test on additional slices of tissue from this animal to determine whether or not it was infected with BSE.
"We will announce results as soon as they are compiled, which we expect to occur by next week.
In Reply to: Re: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results posted by TSS on July 27, 2005 at 12:53 pm:
o.k., let me get this right. i am pondering here;-)
all the time this TEXAS positive, positive, (secret) positive, inconclusive, negative, then Weybridge confirmed 2nd BSE documented case (thanks to the Honorable Phyllis Fong),all this time this BSe going on in TEXAS, was plastered all over the news, this guy forgot about that sample, and it just sat up on some shelf wasting away for months, as to be in such bad shape, they now cannot even test it properly. r i g h t ... like ooops, sorry. ...end
The animal died in April, but the veterinarian forgot to send the sample to USDA until this month, Mr. Clifford said. "While that time lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human health," he said.
IHC tests returned conflicting results on the Texas cow. Use of the preservative means that the other tests commonly done when mad cow is suspected, initial rapid screening and Western blot, can't be performed on this sample, the official said. Mr. Clifford said it's possible to get different results, "depending on the slice of tissue that is tested."
The fatal brain-wasting disease is known medically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. In people, eating tainted meat products has been linked to about 150 deaths from a fatal disorder called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Most of the deaths were in the United Kingdom, where there was an outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s.
The U.S. banned Canadian cattle in May 2003 following Canada's first case of mad-cow disease. The U.S. was about to lift the ban in March when U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull in Billings, Mont., granted an injunction to a ranchers' group called R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America. The ranchers had sued to keep the border closed to Canadian cattle, saying the disease presented a risk to the U.S. beef industry as well as to American consumers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the injunction earlier this month, allowing cattle shipments from Canada to resume. The lifting of the ban reopens the U.S. to cattle younger than 30 months and expands the list of beef products Canada is allowed to ship to the U.S. Older animals are still banned, because infection levels are believed to increase with age.
Copyright © 2005 Associated Press
this is what you call the 'FONG' syndrome. make sure she can't make them do a WB on this sample.
I BEG THE OIG and the Honorable Phyllis Fong to investigate this blunder too. there is no way that sample sat on a shelf while the world waited on that Texas mad cow blunder dust to settle, and someone just forgets about it. i just don't believe this either...
MAD COW DISEASE USA DECEMBER 28, 2008 an 8 year review of a failed and flawed policy
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease presenting as severe depression: a case report
CJD QUESTIONNAIRE USA CWRU AND CJD FOUNDATION
Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518