Good day from the Purdue ADDL. Hope this finds you warm and enjoying Indiana winter. This too shall pass.
The finding of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) positive cow in Washington state just before Christmas this year certainly increased the ringing of the telephones around here and elsewhere on the Purdue campus as well as at the Board of Animal Health. It is encouraging to see that the first finding of BSE in the U.S. has been met with maintenance of confidence of the meat-consuming public. Confidence in the safety of our meat supply is deserved and I believe that the safeguards that have been initiated in our feeding and slaughter practices in this country have been well thought, adhered to, and effective in breaking the chain of events necessary for an outbreak of BSE in our cattle or of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in our meat consuming public. An example of the effectiveness of eliminating a prion-derived disease by eliminating the cycle of cause is seen in the elimination of the human disease Kuru which occurred in a native tribe of New Guinea until the practice of consuming the prion carrying brains were eliminated from the diets of the people. The ban of feeding bovine-derived protein or specified risk material to cattle will prove to be effective in eliminating the cycle required to propagate this disease also.
In other news from the activities of the ADDL, the check of the corn samples taken around the state of the '03 crop revealed some low levels of deoxynivalenol and of fumonisin so that the possibility of problems from these mycotoxins may be recognized. We are continuing to run the samples of deer brains in search of Chronic Wasting Disease in Indiana deer harvested in both '02 and '03. So far no positive samples have been found. Requests for performing tests on skin samples from cattle for persistent infection of BVD have been high. The fluorescent antibody test we are running has been proven to be a fast and effective method for this testing. Faculty and staff of the ADDL have been involved with training exercised required by the new Quality System which has been initiated in the Lab. Our lab is due for an accreditation visit during the coming year for renewal of our full accreditation status; we're in preparation for that visit though the date has not yet been set.
Please keep us apprised of your diagnostic needs. It is our desire to provide you with animal disease diagnostics in the most accurate and timely manner currently available to veterinary application.