Urine test for mad cow means early detection


At the present time, the only way to confirm whether cattle are suffering from mad cow disease is to test them after they are slaughtered.

However, the research of Dr. David Knox and his colleagues at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg may soon lead to a simple urine test for mad cow disease.

Dr. Knox presented his findings at the recent prion conference in Edmonton which was hosted by PrioNet Canada and the Alberta Prion Research Institute.

As Dr. Knox explains, an examination of cattle urine would reveal biomarkers that indicate whether the cattle are infected, long before clinical symptoms appear.

“We found one marker, at least in our small test set, that is able to discriminate with 100 percent accuracy between control and infected samples. And that’s a protein called clusterin. However, it requires further validation. Does it work in all BSE infected cattle is one question. And the other question is, do you see increased amounts in response to other types of infection as well?”

Mad cow disease has a long incubation period. The good news is that Dr. Knox has detected the biomarker in urine as early as eight months after infection—long before clinical symptoms appear in cattle. √                                                            ~ Cheryl Croucher


 Cheryl Croucher’s interviews on prion research were funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cheryl Croucher, Edmonton Tech Community, Edmonton Technology

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One Comment on “Urine test for mad cow means early detection”

  1. Sylvia AZ Polak Says:

    Hello. I am biologist looking for a permanent job in Canada. I worked in UK from 2006 to 2009 in three food manufacturers as a labourer to learn the challenges of food production. If they say you are what you eat brithsh peoples are mad.
    Please hire me in Canada.I am very hard working person.



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