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From: TSS ()
Subject: SEAC Draft minutes of the open session of the 92nd meeting held on 28th April 2006
Date: May 23, 2006 at 7:04 am PST


© SEAC 2006


Draft minutes of the open session of the 92nd meeting held on 28th April


Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre

Greycoat Street



Members: Professor C. Higgins (Chair)

Mr. J. Bassett

Professor D. Brown

Professor N. Hooper

Mr. P. Jinman (Deputy Chair)

Professor C. Lasmézas

Professor J. Manson

Professor G. Medley

Dr. P. Rudge

Professor A. Williams

Assessors: Dr. P. Christie (SE)

Dr. A. Douglas (DARDNI)

Dr. A. Gleadle (FSA)

Mrs. E. Lawrence (DH)

Dr. M. Simmons (NAW)

Technical Experts: Dr. P. Barrowman (Defra)

Dr. P. Bennett (DH)

Mr. P. Burke (Defra)

Professor N. Gill (HPA)

Dr. I. Hill (FSA)

Dr. D. Matthews (VLA)

Dr. J. Stephenson (DH)

SEAC Secretary: Miss K. Richards

Secretariat: Dr. T. Barlow

Dr. D. Cutts

Dr. N. Ebenezer


© SEAC 2006

Dr. P. Keep

Dr. C. Ravirajan


© SEAC 2006


1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the 92nd meeting of SEAC.

2. The Chair announced that Professor Alun Williams had joined

SEAC to replace Professor McConnell who left the committee last

year. Professor Williams is Head of Department of Veterinary

Pathology and Infectious Diseases at the Royal Veterinary College

and leads the European Union (EU) STOPPrions project. Mr Peter

Jinman has been reappointed to SEAC following an open

recruitment exercise and has also been reappointed Deputy Chair.

3. The SEAC Secretary explained that open meetings allow the public

an opportunity to observe the committee at work and provide an

insight into how an advisory committee provides independent

scientific advice to Government. Government officials responsible

for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) policy are

present and may be invited to contribute to discussions.

4. The committee will hold a reserved business session in the

afternoon to allow discussion of unpublished scientific data relating

to TSE infectivity in blood. This is in accordance with the SEAC

Code of Practice. Short summaries of the open and reserved

business discussions will be posted on the SEAC website next

week. A list of website addresses of recently published reports

relevant to TSEs has been tabled.

5. The next meeting will be held on Thursday 6th July 2006 at the

Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre in Westminster,


6. Apologies for absence have been received from Dr Jackie

Chambers, Ms Diane McCrea, Professors James Nicoll and

Margaret Stanley.

7. Members were reminded that they are obliged to declare any

commercial or other interests they may have at the start of the

relevant agenda items. They were also reminded of the obligation

to notify the Secretariat of any changes to the register of members’

interests as soon as they occur.


© SEAC 2006



8. The minutes were agreed as a correct record1.


9. SEAC was informed about the following issues:

• Publication of a paper by Ironside et al.2 reporting the valine

homozygous genotype of two of the three appendix samples

found to be positive for the presence of abnormal prion protein

(PrPSc) by Hilton et al. (2004)3. The third appendix could not

be genotyped. The finding that both samples which could be

genotyped were valine homozygous has implications for the

predicted prevalence of vCJD infectivity in the UK population.

SEAC had considered these data at SEAC 84.

• Publication of a paper by Andreoletti et al.4 reporting that

PrPSc was found in the spleen of an ARR homozygous sheep

ten months after oral challenge with BSE. Dr Danny

Matthews (Veterinary Laboratories Agency [VLA]) noted that

the animals had been challenged with a very high dose of

BSE at less than a week old in this study.

• Following the agreement of the Chief Medical Officer, the

Department of Health (DH) had requested that the Health

Protection Agency (HPA) convene an expert group to

consider the SEAC recommendation5 for testing of post

mortem tissues to ascertain better the prevalence of vCJD

infection in the UK. Professor Noel Gill (HPA) explained that

the HPA is actively engaged in convening this group. SEAC

would be asked to comment on the remit and membership of

the group, probably by the end of May 2006. It was noted that

DH has agreed to continue funding the tissue collection phase

1 Note added after SEAC 92. In paragraph 9, third bullet point “A paper on the case is being

prepared by the Transfusion Medicine Epidemiology Review.” was changed to “A paper on

the case is being prepared by the National Prion Clinic.” and in paragraph 25 “…sonicated

microsomal fractions. Biochemical assays and hamster bioassay.” was changed to

“…sonicated microsomal fractions by biochemical assays and hamster bioassay.”

2 Ironside et al. (2006) Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: prion protein genotype analysis of

positive appendix tissue samples from a retrospective prevalence study. BMJ Online.

3 Hilton et al. Prevalence of lymphoreticular prion protein accumulation in UK tissue samples.

J Pathol. 2004 203, 733-739.

4 Andreoletti et al. (2006) Bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent in spleen from an

ARR/ARR orally exposed sheep. J. Gen. Virol. 87, 1043-1046.



© SEAC 2006

of the HPA National Anonymous Tonsil Archive that is

collecting tonsils for vCJD infection prevalence estimation.

• Defra and FSA tabled plans for studies to address

recommendations made by the SEAC Sheep Subgroup for

research on atypical scrapie6. It was noted that material for

this research is in very short supply. Dr Peter Barrowman

(Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [Defra])

explained that Defra was looking to accumulate as much

material as possible from the few atypical scrapie cases

identified from TSE surveillance. Material would also be

generated from challenge studies. Defra, the Food Standards

Agency (FSA) and VLA are convening a group to consider

priorities for use of the available material. A member

suggested that whole heads could be collected at abattoir to

increase the amount of available material. Dr Matthews

explained that it was impracticable to collect whole heads.

However, should sheep inoculated with atypical scrapie

become diseased these animals would provide appreciable

amounts of material for research. Inoculations of sheep with

mouse atypical scrapie were under consideration as an

additional method to generate more material but this approach

may be inappropriate if phenotypic changes in strain occurred

from passage in mice.

• Unusual TSE test results obtained during routine surveillance

from two French and one Cypriot sheep. Dr Matthews

explained that the EU Expert Group on Strain Typing

concluded that ring trial results of these samples were

incompatible with the presence of experimental BSE in sheep.

However, the unusual nature of the samples warranted further

study so strain typing bioassays will be conducted. It is not

yet possible to predict when results will be available.



© SEAC 2006

• Preliminary results from bioassays of one UK sheep TSE case

identified in 2004 had given unusual results in biochemical

tests. Dr Matthews explained that initial western blot of these

samples was consistent with experimental BSE in sheep but

that ring trial tests did not support this diagnosis. Strain typing

bioassays had been conducted. One of the inocula had given

an incubation period for clinical disease of 100 days in tg338

mice, which is inconsistent with BSE. Results of brain

examinations were outstanding.

• 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 workshops sought stakeholder views on options for

possible additional precautionary measures in relation to

atypical scrapie. The FSA Board would be returning to this

issue in June 2006. The SEAC Chair had also attended the

FSA Board meeting on 6th April 2006 when the Government’s

contingency policy for BSE in sheep was discussed.

• The study on transmission of BSE and vCJD in humanised

mice7, considered in reserved business at SEAC 90, had

been published. The minutes of the discussion have now

been placed on the SEAC website.

• Progress on recommendations made at SEAC 91 in relation

to disposal of manure, crops and livestock at VLA Drayton.

Mr Patrick Burke (Defra) explained that Defra would permit

material from unchallenged animals and animals inoculated

by the intracranial route to be composted and spread on

arable land. Dr Matthews indicated that material from orallychallenged

animals would continue to be composted and then

used for coppice by VLA. It was likely that material from

intracerebrally challenged animals would be treated in the

same way.

• The Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (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.

7 Bishop et al. (2006) Predicting susceptibility and incubation time of human-to-human

transmission of vCJD. Lancet Neurology. On line.


© SEAC 2006

• Sir William Stewart has agreed to chair a 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’. Mrs Eileen

Lawrence (DH) explained that the SEAC Chair and the Chair

of CJD Incidents Panel had been invited to sit on this group.

Requests for nominations to sit on this group had been

submitted to relevant professional bodies and representatives

from the National Prion Clinic and National CJD Surveillance

Unit would be invited as special advisors. It was envisaged

that the group would convene during the summer.


10. There was no other business.

© 2006 Society for General Microbiology


Short Communication

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent in spleen from an ARR/ARR orally exposed sheep
Olivier Andréoletti1, Nathalie Morel2, Caroline Lacroux1, Virginie Rouillon1, Céline Barc3, Guillaume Tabouret1, Pierre Sarradin3, Patricia Berthon3, Philippe Bernardet3, Jacinthe Mathey1, Séverine Lugan1, Pierrette Costes1, Fabien Corbière1, Juan-Carlos Espinosa4, Juan Maria Torres4, Jacques Grassi2, François Schelcher1 and Frédéric Lantier3

1 UMR INRA ENVT 1225, Interactions Hôte-Agents Pathogènes, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, 23 Chemin des Capelles, 31076 Toulouse, France
2 CEA, Service de Pharmacologie et d'Immunologie, CEA/Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette cedex, France
3 INRA, Pathologie Infectieuse et Immunologie, INRA Nouzilly, 37380 Nouzilly, France
4 CISA, Instituto National de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria, 28130 Valdeolmos, Spain

Olivier Andréoletti

Oral contamination with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent in susceptible PRNP genotype sheep results in widespread distribution of prion in the host. Because ARR homozygous sheep are considered to be resistant to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, they have been selected to eradicate scrapie from sheep flocks and to protect the human food chain from small ruminant BSE risk. However, results presented here show that several months after an oral challenge with BSE agent, healthy ARR/ARR sheep can accumulate significant amounts of PrPSc in the spleen.

7 Bishop et al. (2006) Predicting susceptibility and incubation time of human-to-human

transmission of vCJD. Lancet Neurology. On line.;article=2829;title=CJD%20WATCH

see increase of sporadic CJD over the years ;


notice steady increase, but also notice in 2005, # 7 the 38 pendings cases through Oct. and #8 includes 53 type pending, 1 type unknown.

if you look at 2003 there were 3 type unknown.

wonder if they were the same or different than the unknown in 2005?

considering the soup that has been brewing over here in the USA for years via the rendering of BSE and atypical TSE in cattle, CWD, Scrapie, a few TME cases (not too much due to scent gland, but there were a few rendered, but all this, and you have one hell of a recipe for a new strains of TSE in humans. then who knows what 'friendly fire' cases would look like from this soup via secondary transmission via medical/surgical/dental arena. ...TSS

National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center case exams...

Full Text
Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Singeltary, Sr et al.
JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734


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