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Industrial Food Animal Production >> BSE (Mad Cow)
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a fatal brain disease in cattle. BSE is part of a class of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs can cause spongy degeneration of the brain, severe neurological symptoms, and death. There is evidence that the human disease variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob is caused by the same agent that causes BSE. Because TSEs are infectious, it is crucial to food and livestock safety that animals sick with TSEs are not slaughtered for the purpose of feeding humans or other animals.
Recommended resources on this topic:
Reports & Other Documents
vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy – "Mad Cow Disease" Fact Sheet
Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA), March 2005.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Fact Sheet
World Health Organization, November 2002.
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
A general model of prion strains and their pathogenicity
J. Collinge and A.R. Clarke. Science; Nov. 9, 2007.
Source of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease outside United Kingdom
P. Sanchez-Juan, et al. Emerg Infect Dis, August 2007.
The expanding universe of prion diseases
J.C. Watts, et al. PLoS Pathog, March 2006.
Food and Drug Administration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Additional Tools & Resources
Travelers’ Health: Yellow book (Chapter 4). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WHO infection control guidelines for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
HHS launches expanded plan to combat “mad cow disease”
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