US scientists develop a possible test for BSEBMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7220.1312b (Published 13 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1312
- Scott Gottlieb, New York
A group of US agricultural scientists have developed a laboratory assay that might lead to the creation of a cheap diagnostic blood test for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The test, developed by private and government researchers working at the US Agricultural Research Service in Ames, Iowa, detects the presence of abnormal proteins called prions that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
The human form of bovine spongiform encephalitis, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD), is the best known of the group and has affected about …