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An epidemiological study of sheep scrapie to determine means of natural transmission - SE0213

This study is a continuation of SE0213 which originally started in 1995. Funding was last approved in May 2002 for three years (to March 2005) with a planned duration to March 2008.

The introduction of the National Scrapie Plan (NSP) Ram Genotyping Scheme has affected recruitment of farms. Future follow-up has been limited by the introduction of EU legislation that defines the action to be taken in scrapie-affected flocks from October 1st 2003. As a result this revision is required. It introduces a change of emphasis in 2003/04 and moves the project from data collection into an analysis phase. This will ensure the most effective returns from past investment. It should be recognised that future reviews may be necessary.

The main aims are:
· To understand the epidemiology of scrapie
· To quantify the effect of and investigate the relationship between possible risk factors, including PrP genotype and parental scrapie status.
· To determine the effect of introducing resistant rams in a scrapie-affected flock.
· (To investigate the dynamics of infection within flocks using a mathematical model; which will be validated, using data collected during the study, and then used to predict the impact of various control measures on scrapie incidence, in order to provide advice to farmers.) This has been incorporated into Project SE0228
· To estimate the prevalence of infection in culled sheep of known genotype from naturally infected scrapie flocks.

The results of this research project will improve the understanding of the epidemiology, aetiology and dynamics of scrapie within affected flocks. This will improve our ability to advise farmers with affected flocks on control policies, as well as to give general advice about prevention of scrapie. Control of scrapie is important because of the economic impact of TSEs on the livestock industry, animal welfare considerations and the potential human health risk, if BSE has been transmitted and maintained in the sheep population.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final report executive summary   (23k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final report full details   (346k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 2006

Cost: £3,348,686
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health