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Researchers: Urine test may help detect mad cow disease.

A simple urine test can identify transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, which could help prevent blood donations by human carriers and large-scale culling of unaffected cattle. These are the findings of Dr. Ruth Gabizon and colleagues at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital. At present, the only way to test for mad cow disease of the human equivalent -- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease -- is to examine the brain postmortem. The findings -- published in the June edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry-- indicate the mutant prion protein that causes the disease can be identified in urine before symptoms appear, states a recent Reuters article. According to researchers, urine samples collected from hamsters, cattle, and humans known to be infected with the disease showed the presence of prions before any clinical signs "manifested themselves."
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Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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