Incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in the European Community
Epidemiologic surveillance of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was reinstituted in the United Kingdom in 1990 following a recommendation by the Southwood Committee (1). The aim of the surveillance program is to determine whether there is a change in the epidemiologic or clinicopathologic features of CJD as a result of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to the human population, should this indeed occur. National surveillance programs for CJD have been established in France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, and all these European projects now share common methodologies, assisted by a grant awarded through the BIOMED1 program. The importance of conducting epidemiologic research in CJD has been heightened by the occurrence of BSE in several member states of the European Community (EC) and an increased level of controversy about the perceived risk posed by BSE. The risk to the human population has been judged to be remote by a range of official bodies including the Southwood Committee, the United Kingdom Agricultural Select Committee, EC committees, and the World Health Organization (2). This consensus has been challenged, often on the basis of assertion rather than scientific evidence. An assessment of the risk posed by BSE must inevitably be based on an assessment of a body of scientific information including evidence from transmission studies, molecular biology, and protein chemistry. However, currently the only direct evidence on whether or not BSE has caused disease in the human population is from epidemiologic surveillance.
KeywordsEurope Codon Neurol Methionine Dura
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Southwood Committee. Report of the Working Party on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Department of Health and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. ISBN 1989;185197 405 9.Google Scholar
- 2.World Health Organization. Report of a WHO consultation on public health issues related to animal and human spongiform encephalopathies. Geneva, 12–14 November, 1991.Google Scholar
- 3.Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance in the United Kingdom—Third Annual Report. Edinburgh: CJD Surveillance Unit, 1994.Google Scholar
- 10.Will RG. Is there a potential risk of transmission of BSE to the human population and how may this be assessed? In: Bradley R, Savey M, Marchant B, eds. Sub-acute spongiform encephalopathies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers for the EEC, 1991:179–186.Google Scholar
- 11.Marsh RF. Transmissible mink encephalopathy. In: Prusiner SB, Collinge J, Powell J, Anderton B, eds. Prion diseases of humans and animals. Proceedings of Prion Diseases of Humans and Animals, London 2–4 September, 1992. Chichester: Ellis Horwood, 1992:300–307.Google Scholar
- 12.Robinson MM. Transmissible encephalopathy research in the United States. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Proceedings of a consultation on BSE with the Scientific Veterinary Committee of the European Communities held in Brussels, 14–15 September 1993, Brussels: European Commission, 1993:261–269.Google Scholar
- 21.Sitwell L, Lach B, Atack E, Atack D. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in histopathology technicians. N Engl J Med 1988;318:854.Google Scholar