California-based Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., announced that its rapid TeSeE® test used for the detection of BSE has been licensed by the USDA for use in the National Veterinary Service Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, and all the NVSL network laboratories as part of the USDA's newly enhanced BSE-testing program.

It is estimated that this new program will test approximately 400,000 animals over the next 12-18 months.

Bio-Rad is the leading provider of tests used for detecting TSEs (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies). To date, the company has provided more than 22 million BSE tests to laboratories throughout Europe and Japan.

Independent field studies have shown the Bio-Rad BSE test to have the highest level of sensitivity and specificity of any rapid screening test available.

The test detects the presence of the resistant form of prion protein linked to BSE and can identify these prions at extremely low levels.

This capability to detect very low levels of prions helps assure that BSE infected animals do not go undetected. The Bio-Rad test is also the easiest testing method to adapt to mass screening programs and can produce results in just 4 hours.

 "The test's speed, ease-of-use, high degree of sensitivity and accuracy have placed it in the highest scientific regard and will aid in the USDA's efforts to conduct a reliable and highly effective surveillance program," said Brad Crutchfield, Bio-Rad's vice president of life science. 

PRNewswire, Bio-Rad