Note to Editors: The following is a media tip that includes an expert at Colorado State University. This media tip sheet is intended to provide resources to reporters and editors and is not intended as contact information for the public.
Colorado State University was identified this spring as an official Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy testing site by the US Department of Agriculture. The following expert is available to discuss BSE testing with reporters:
Dr. Barb Powers, director of the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, can discuss the BSE testing process employed by the US Department of Agriculture. She can explain the rapid test used by the BSE surveillance system, which produced the inconclusive test result last week, and its highly sensitive screening test design, as well as protocol to confirm all inconclusive results by a more complex definitive test. The rapid test system, used by seven state laboratories, was first evaluated at Colorado State University for chronic wasting disease, a disease in the same family as BSE that effects deer and elk. Powers can discuss testing protocol, the difference between the rapid tests and the more complex tests at National Veterinarian Services Laboratory, as well as inconclusive test results in general. She can discuss specifics about transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases, a group of neurodegenerative disorders that include BSE in cows. The rapid test was also evaluated by the European Union for BSE before it was accepted by the USDA.
The diagnostic lab at Colorado State and the university is recognized nationally and internationally in the fields of testing for and research of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases, a group of neurodegenerative disorders that include BSE in cows, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru in human beings. This spring the diagnostic lab was identified as one of the sites for BSE testing by the USDA.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Powers, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.