Note to Editors: Registration is still available for the conference on a limited basis. Contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 for registration information or to arrange interviews.
Colorado State University is welcoming leading researchers from throughout the world for the International Conference on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) in Animal Populations – Fact and Fiction. The conference will be held Sept. 10-11 at the Holiday Inn University Park in Fort Collins.
Scientists, policy makers and regulators from the United States and overseas will attend the conference with the goal of establishing effective lines of communication among interested publics worldwide on topics related to TSE to improve future preventative measures. The field’s leading researchers will share research findings and discuss approaches to understand and reduce the spread of TSE diseases in animals, specifically bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow) in cows, scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk.
Scientists, policy makers, veterinary and public health regulators, wildlife biologists, livestock producers and food suppliers will participate in the event.
The global conference, hosted by Colorado State’s Animal Population Health Institute, is being sponsored by the USDA, the Canada Food Inspection Agency, Switzerland’s International Forum for TSE and Food Safety and the Office International des Epizooties, an international animal health organization based in France that is actively engaged in the prevention and control of the spread of animal diseases.
"The public has been provided with information and options that are a mixture of the truth and speculation regarding TSEs," said Mo Salman, director of Colorado State’s Animal Population Health Institute. "There has traditionally been little exchange of information among all the involved parties. This conference is aimed largely at overcoming this problem."
Due to the geographical diversity in the occurrence of the various forms of TSE, sharing information from particular parts of the world has been challenging. The BSE situation in Europe expanded the knowledge of European scientists and regulators. In the same way, the presence of CWD in North America has given several opportunities to local scientists and regulators to understand and deal with that disease. The conference’s organizers hope to enhance communication with all involved parties for a better understanding of primary TSE issues.
Conference topics include sessions on TSE pathogenesis, diagnosis and epidemiology, prevention and regulations, and research and future directions. Conference results are planned to be shared with the scientific community, media, food industry groups, diagnostic assays companies, hunter groups and livestock producers.
TSEs are a group of neurodegenerative disorders that include scrapie, BSE and CWD in animals, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru in human beings. The TSEs are characterized by the accumulation, in the central nervous system, of an abnormal form of the naturally occurring prion protein.
Colorado is unique in having two TSEs in its animal populations: scrapie of sheep and CWD of deer and elk. As a result of experience with these diseases, researchers and diagnosticians at Colorado State are recognized nationally and internationally in the fields of TSE research, diagnosis and related animal health policy processes.
For more information, including a complete conference agenda, go on the Web at http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/aphi/TSEMain.htm.