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Determining transmissibility of H- and L-type BSE to sheep - SE1860

The general objectives of this proposal are to meet the specification provided in the Defra invitation to tender YM02 – namely to determine the transmissibility of H- and L-type BSE to sheep. Sheep of 5 specified genotypes will be challenged intracerebrally, and, following death or slaughter, will be subjected to post-mortem examinations that will be aimed at characterising the phenotype in sheep, comparing measurable parameters in primary and challenged hosts (molecular, pathological and clinical characteristics) to ensure that techniques used by the VLA as UK National Reference Laboratory for TSEs are capable of detecting putative infections in sheep caused by strains arising in cattle. Criteria are already established for the detection of C-type BSE in sheep, and in regular use. Any adjustments needed as a result of this study can be fed directly into surveillance programmes before completion of the study as the key named personnel in this proposal are directly involved in statutory confirmatory procedures.

At the time of publication of the tender only one H-type BSE case had been identified in the UK, and sample quality and quantity are incompatible with the objectives of the call. Under the circumstances we have secured offers of supply of H- and L-type from Prof. Thierry Baron (AFSSA, France - H-type), and Dr Cristina Casalone, IZT, Italy - L-type/BASE). These offers are by informal e-mail rather than formal letter, but are appended for review. The offers are conditional upon successful application for funding.

If at some point further cases of H or L type BSE are detected in the UK, we propose to recommend substitution for material offered from abroad, on the basis that the science derived from the study should be appropriate to UK circumstances.

Since the initial submission of this proposal, a second UK H-type case has been identified. As indicated above, this will be used for the study instead of hte French H-type.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2015

Cost: £1,314,027
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health