Immunoglobulin Peptides Against Heated Bovine Blood
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents induce fatal neurodegenerative diseases in mammalian species and humans. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, commonly known as mad cow disease, has brought enormous economic consequences since its first incidence in the United Kingdom in 1986. In addition, the emergence of a new variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans in the United Kingdom has been proposed to be possibly linked with BSE. Meat and bone meal, an ingredient of animal feed, contaminated with a TSE agent was believed to be the major vehicle of BSE transmission, according to epidemiological inquiry. To prevent the spread of BSE, the European Union in 1988 banned the inclusion of ruminant-derived proteins in animal feed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also introduced the feed ban in 1997 to prohibit the use of proteins derived from mammalian tissues in feeding ruminants
Tools that permit enforcement of the meat and bone meal bans to eradicate BSE are becoming increasingly important for compliance with animal byproduct regulation. Furthermore, the accurate labeling of meat products is mandated and monitored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as by state and local governments.
Among the various aspects of the present invention are immunoglobulin peptides which bind an antigen from bovine blood that may be used, for example, in a screening assay to identify or detect exogenous blood. The method comprises combining the sample with an immunoglobulin peptide which binds a thermostable antigen from bovine blood and determining whether any antigen from the sample was bound by the immunoglobulin peptide. This method can be used to determine the presence of bovine blood in a food sample or an animal feed sample.