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Towards developing a proper understanding of TSE strain and strain typing - SE1787

The ultimate objective of the research is to develop a statistically valid and reproducible method for analysing and interpreting bioassay strain typing results. These results are important as they provide the primary technique by which TSEs such as scrapie, BSE, vCJD and sCJD are identified and differentiated. In the past, judgements of identity and diversity of strain have been made on the basis of examining the results presented graphically by eye for characteristic patterns. While this method may work for pairwise comparisons, it is much less suitable for searching for structure in a large body of strain typing results, particularly in the presence of considerable scatter in the data. Research carried out during an earlier project for Defra (SE1779) has shown that cluster analysis is a powerful tool for finding patterns in scrapie strain typing data sets too complex to interpret by eye. We propose to build on this work by: - examining more closely the internal structure and statistical significance of the clusters found in SE1779, - proposing what might be “standard scrapies” (and standard BSE) against which bio-assay strain typing and other diagnostic techniques could be calibrated. At the end of this project, the statistical tools and methods introduced in SE1779 should be developed to a point at which they can be applied systematically to the large body of strain typing data held by IAH.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Towards developing a proper understanding of TSE strain and strain typing   (357k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £39,898
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Risk Solutions
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health