European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 411–419

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

  • Christian Ducrot
  • Carole Sala
  • Giuseppe Ru
  • Aline de Koeijer
  • Hazel Sheridan
  • Claude Saegerman
  • Thomas Selhorst
  • Mark Arnold
  • Miroslaw P. Polak
  • Didier Calavas


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.


Age period cohort model Basic reproduction number Bovine spongiform encephalopathy Epidemiology European Union Risk assessment Prevention and control 



Age period cohort model


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy


European Union


Meat and bone meal


Office International des Epizooties


Odds ratio


Basic reproduction number


Specified risk material


United Kingdom


variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Ducrot
    • 1
  • Carole Sala
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Ru
    • 3
  • Aline de Koeijer
    • 4
  • Hazel Sheridan
    • 5
  • Claude Saegerman
    • 6
  • Thomas Selhorst
    • 7
  • Mark Arnold
    • 8
  • Miroslaw P. Polak
    • 9
  • Didier Calavas
    • 10
  1. 1.INRA, UR346 Epidémiologie AnimaleSaint Genes ChampanelleFrance
  2. 2.AFSSA Lyon, Unité EpidémiologieLyonFrance
  3. 3.IZSPLVA, Italian Reference Centre for Animal TSETorinoItaly
  4. 4.CVI, Veterinary Epidemiology and ModellingLelystadThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodDublinIreland
  6. 6.Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to Veterinary SciencesUniversity of LiegeLiegeBelgium
  7. 7.Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institut für EpidemiologieWusterhausenGermany
  8. 8.VLA Sutton BoningtonLoughboroughUK
  9. 9.Department of VirologyNVRIPulawyPoland
  10. 10.AFSSA LyonLyonFrance

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