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Thursday, November 6, 1997 Published at 09:25 GMT



World: Europe

Swiss blood test for BSE

Swiss scientists say they have created an antibody which may make it possible to use a simple blood test to diagnose the brain disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and its equivalent in cattle, BSE or mad cow disease.

Existing tests require a brain biopsy and are more complicated, expensive and less sensitive.

Writing in the science journal Nature, the scientists say the test -- which they hope will be ready in a few months -- may also provide a basis for therapy which could at least slow the progression of CJD.

In another development, the British government is to be urged to consider treating all blood for CJD, after it was revealed that two people who died from the disease were blood donors.

But the expert committee which recommended the move stressed that there is no evidence the disease can be transmitted through blood.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service








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