Another inconclusive BSE test

Nov 18, 2004

USDA was notified on November 18 of another inconclusive screening test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and is awaiting confirmatory tests from the agency’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

“The inconclusive result does not mean we have found another case of BSE in this country,” said Andrea Morgan, associate deputy administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “Inconclusive results are a normal component of screening tests, which are designed to be extremely sensitive so they will detect any sample that could possibly be positive.”

Tissue samples were sent to the national BSE reference laboratory with results expected in four to seven days. The animal did not enter the food or feed chain. The last time an inconclusive test was investigated, it turned out to be false.

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