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Is there a decline in bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases born after reinforced feed bans? A modelling study in EU member states

  • M. E. ARNOLD (a1), R. R. L. SIMONS (a2), J. HOPE (a2), N. GIBBENS (a3) and A. L. ADKIN (a2)...

Summary

Occasional cases of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) still continue to occur within the European Union (EU) for animals born after reinforced feed bans (BARBs), which should in theory have eliminated all risk of infection. The study aimed to determine (i) whether a common rate of decline of BSE infection was evident across EU member states, i.e. to determine whether control measures have been equally effective in all member states, (ii) whether there was any evidence of spontaneous occurrence of BSE in the data and (iii) the expected date for the last BSE case in UK. It was found that there was no significant difference in the rate of decline of BSE prevalence between member states, with a common rate of decline of 33·9% per annum (95% CI 30·9–37%) in successive annual birth cohorts. Trend analysis indicated an ultimate decline to 0 prevalence, suggesting that spontaneous occurrence does not explain the majority of cases. Projecting forward the trends from the back-calculation model indicated that there was approximately a 50% probability of further cases in the UK, and should the current rate of decline continue, there remains the possibility of further occasional cases up until 2026.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: M. E. Arnold, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), The Elms, College Road, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, LE12 5RB, UK. (Email: mark.arnold@apha.gsi.gov.uk)

References

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Keywords

Is there a decline in bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases born after reinforced feed bans? A modelling study in EU member states

  • M. E. ARNOLD (a1), R. R. L. SIMONS (a2), J. HOPE (a2), N. GIBBENS (a3) and A. L. ADKIN (a2)...

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