Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Part of the series Serono Symposia USA Norwell, Massachusetts pp 45-55

Recent Observations on the Epidemiology of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

  • John W. Wilesmith

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Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) became a statutorily notifiable disease in Great Britain in June 1988 following its recognition in 1986 (1). Initial epidemiologic studies provided evidence that cattle had become infected by a scrapie-like agent via infected meat and bone meal used as a protein supplement (2). A subsequent case-control study of calf-feeding practices substantiated this hypothesis (3), and action to prevent further exposure from the food-borne source was taken in July 1988 when the feeding of ruminant derived protein to ruminants was banned.