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From: TSS ()
Subject: Summary of SEAC 92 meeting
Date: May 9, 2006 at 2:30 pm PST


© SEAC 2006



The Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee held its 92nd

meeting in London on 28th April 2006 and discussed the following



SEAC was informed about the following issues:

• DH has requested that the HPA convene a group of experts to

consider how to take forward the recommendation from

SEAC1 for testing of post mortem tissues to ascertain better

the prevalence of vCJD infection in the UK. HPA is actively

engaged in convening this group. In addition, DH will continue

to fund the HPA National Anonymous Tonsil Archive that is

prospectively collecting tonsils for prevalence estimation.

• Sir William Stewart has agreed to chair the vCJD Patient

Advisory Group being convened by DH to advise on the

appropriate counselling and care for individuals defined as ‘at

risk from vCJD for public health purposes’.

• Defra and FSA tabled plans for studies to address

recommendations made by the SEAC Sheep Subgroup for

research on atypical scrapie2. Material from atypical scrapie

cases for this research is in very short supply. Defra, FSA

and VLA are convening a group to consider priorities for use

of the available material. Ways to generate more material are

under consideration.




© SEAC 2006

• Unusual TSE test results were recently obtained during

routine surveillance from two French and one Cypriot sheep.

Although the presence of BSE was ruled out by additional

rapid tests, further investigations are underway with results

expected in about 18 months.

• Preliminary results from bioassays from one UK sheep TSE

case that had given an unusual result in biochemical tests in a

prospective survey. The incubation period for this isolate was

inconsistent with the presence of BSE.

• The SEAC Chair had attended a recent FSA stakeholder

meeting in England and the SEAC Secretary attended

equivalent meetings in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

to present and discuss the SEAC Sheep Subgroup statement.

These meetings sought stakeholder views on options for

possible additional precautionary measures in relation to

atypical scrapie. The FSA Board would return to this issue at

its June 2006 meeting.

• The SEAC Chair attended the FSA Board meeting on 6 April

2006 when the Government’s contingency policy for BSE in

sheep was discussed.

• The study on transmission of BSE and vCJD in humanised

mice3 considered in reserved business at SEAC 90 had been

published. The minutes of the discussion had been placed on

the SEAC website.

• Progress was reported on recommendations made at SEAC

91 in relation to disposal of manure, crops and livestock at

VLA Drayton. Defra accepted the SEAC recommendations

with regard to the disposal of composted manure on arable

land on the farm. However, disposal would be restricted to

material from unchallenged animals and, for contingency

purposes, animals inoculated by the intracranial route.

3 Bishop et al. (2006) Predicting susceptibility and incubation time of humanto-

human transmission of vCJD. Lancet Neurology. On line.


© SEAC 2006

• The CJD Incidents Panel had been provided with the SEAC

advice from SEAC 91 on the assessment of potential risks

from medical implants containing bovine material.



The UK Blood Service and DH asked SEAC to consider TSE

infectivity in whole blood and blood components and other issues

relating to assessment of the risks of vCJD transmission via blood

transfusion. The discussion was held in a reserved business

session to allow consideration of unpublished research. The

committee agreed to produce a statement of its conclusions.

8 May 2006 - Final minutes of SEAC 91 meeting


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