ZURICH, Switzerland (April 12, 2004) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved two tests developed by Prionics AG, here, for use in the United States’ enhanced “mad cow” disease surveillance program, the company announced. Both tests will be distributed by Roche Diagnostics in the United States.
The two tests aimed at detecting bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as “mad cow” disease, were identified as Prionics-Check WESTERN and Prionics-Check LIA.
On a worldwide basis, Roche has distributed the Prionics tests in most major markets since February 2001, according to Prionics.Prionics said its Check WESTERN test is based on the “Western Blot” technique. Prionics said “Western Blot” does not produce false positive results, which can cause a significant loss in consumer confidence and have major economic impact, particularly in BSE-free countries and countries with a low incidence of BSE, like the U.S.
Prionics-Check WESTERN was used in 18 million of the 30 million BSEtests conducted worldwide between 2001 and 2003, without false positiveresults, the company said.
The Prionics-Check WESTERN test is manufactured by Greiner Diagnostics, Langenthal Switzerland. The Prionics-Check LIA test is manufactured by Pierce Biotechnology Inc., Rockford, Ill. Roche is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.