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BSE testing protocol changes

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that it will change its bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) testing protocol, waiting until a second or duplicate rapid test result before declaring a test sample inconclusive.

Since beginning an enhanced surveillance program June 1, the agency has announced two inconclusive BSE test results, later found negative, out of more than 28,000 tested samples, John Clifford, APHIS chief veterinarian stated in an APHIS release.

Each sample is run once and, if reactive, run again in duplicate. Previous procedures required APHIS to declare a test inconclusive for BSE based upon initial test results. Now, in accordance with test manufacturer instructions, the department will instead announce inconclusive results based upon findings of duplicate tests.

"If either of the tests in the second run is reactive, APHIS will announce this result as an inconclusive and will conduct confirmatory testing at National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa," Clifford said.

For more information visit www.aphis.usda.gov.

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