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Further studies on the transmissibility of BSE to pigs
Project Code: M03010
Pig brains from the UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand were examined histopathologically. Vacuolation was observed in most of the UK pigs examined and appeared to be more severe in older pigs. The rostral colliculus vacuolation was also present in the brains of pigs from the other countries, though to a lesser extent than UK pigs.
In order to ascertain whether an endemic TSE-like agent is the cause of the vacuolation passage of material from the rostral colliculus into pigs by parenteral challenge was carried out . Rostral colliculi of normal, healthy cull sows, half born in 1996 or earlier and half born after 1996 (when the MBM ban came into force) were examined. Those showing a high incidence of vacuolation were used as the inocula. No clinical signs suggestive of a TSE were detected in the inoculated animals, nor was there any evidence of histopathological changes characteristic of TSEs in their brains.
The results of this study indicate that the rostral colliculus vacuolation highlighted by previous studies is a normal, background pathological finding in the pig and is not caused by an endemic TSE-like agent.
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