News last update:6 Aug 2012

BSE naturally occurring in cattle

Bovine spongiform encephalitis or BSE is a naturally occurring disease in cattle and therefore inextinguishable, Polish and Swiss scientists have concluded.

The scientist came to this conclusion after investigating the presence of atypical BSE case in Switzerland.
They researched samples of 33 positive cows. From the samples is appeared that one cow had a different type of prion causing the symptoms. Hence, the overall prevalence of atypical BSE in Switzerland appears very low and similar to what has been reported from other countries.

It has been speculated and strengthened by experimental data that atypical BSE once recycled in the cattle population was the origin of the worldwide BSE epidemic in the last 20 years. If this holds true and such cases occur spontaneously in the population, then BSE might never be completely eradicated.

Furthermore, in these circumstances, it would be hazardous to relieve certain disease control measures, including the total prohibition of MBM in ruminant feed, the researchers concluded.

The full report can be viewed in Virology Journal.

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