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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

item Knowles, Donald - Don

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Knowles Jr, D.P. 2008. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. In: Brown, C., Torres, A., editors. The United States Animal Health Association - Foreign Animal Diseases. Seventh Edition. Boca Raton, FL: Boca Publications Group, Inc. p. 185-188.

Interpretive Summary: This book chapter describes current knowledge concerning the definition, etiology, host range, epidemiology, clinical signs, post-morten lesions, immune response, diagnosis and prevention and control concerning bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Technical Abstract: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also referred to as “mad cow disease” is a chronic, non-febrile, neuro-degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system. The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) of domestic animals, of which BSE is a member includes scrapie of sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease (CWD) of elk, moose, mule and white tailed deer, feline spongiform encephalopathy and transmissible mink encephalopathy. The central factor in BSE pathogenesis is the accumulation in the CNS of a misfolded version of the normal prion protein. The key component of BSE pathogenesis which helps explain the worldwide decline in BSE cases is the absence of horizontal (contact) transmission. This characteristic of BSE pathogenesis is in contrast to the efficient horizontal transmission of CWD and the less efficient but clearly horizontally transmitted scrapie of sheep.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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