, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 411-419
Date: 13 Apr 2010

Modelling BSE trend over time in Europe, a risk assessment perspective

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Abstract

BSE is a zoonotic disease that caused the emergence of variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease in the mid 1990s. The trend of the BSE epidemic in seven European countries was assessed and compared, using Age-Period-Cohort and Reproduction Ratio modelling applied to surveillance data 2001–2007. A strong decline in BSE risk was observed for all countries that applied control measures during the 1990s, starting at different points in time in the different countries. Results were compared with the type and date of the BSE control measures implemented between 1990 and 2001 in each country. Results show that a ban on the feeding of meat and bone meal (MBM) to cattle alone was not sufficient to eliminate BSE. The fading out of the epidemic started shortly after the complementary measures targeted at controlling the risk in MBM. Given the long incubation period, it is still too early to estimate the additional effect of the ban on the feeding of animal protein to all farm animals that started in 2001. These results provide new insights in the risk assessment of BSE for cattle and Humans, which will especially be useful in the context of possible relaxing BSE surveillance and control measures.