BSE, better known as mad cow disease, is among the many recently discovered zoonotic diseases. BSE cases were first reported in the United Kingdom in 1986. Variant CJD
Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD), commonly referred to as "mad cow disease", is a type of brain disease within the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy family. Initial symptoms include psychiatric problems, behavioral changes, and painful sensations.
Can People Get BSE? People can get a version of BSE called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). As of 2019, 232 people worldwide are known to have become sick with vCJD, and unfortunately, they all have died. It is thought that they got the disease from eating food made from cows sick with BSE.
BSE is a new disease in cattle. Infectivity can be titrated, and the disease has been transmitted to the same and to other species including cats and humans. This classifies BSE as infectious and zoonotic.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease
BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion. The nature of the transmissible agent is not well understood.
In theory, CJD can be transmitted from an affected person to others, but only through an injection or consuming infected brain or nervous tissue. There's no evidence that sporadic CJD is spread through ordinary day-to-day contact with those affected or by airborne droplets, blood or sexual contact.
Because they depend on the human host for part of their life-cycle, diseases such as African schistosomiasis, river blindness, and elephantiasis are not defined as zoonotic, even though they may depend on transmission by insects or other vectors.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a complex zoonosis that is highly virulent in humans. The largest recorded outbreak of EVD is ongoing in West Africa, outside of its previously reported and predicted niche.
It has severe effects on the brain. CJD gradually destroys brain cells and causes tiny holes to form in the brain. People with CJD experience difficulty controlling body movements, changes in gait and speech, and dementia. There is no cure for the disease.
Bluetongue virus is not zoonotic. Bluetongue virus can be found worldwide within tropical and subtropical climates from approximately 35° S to 40° N, and in some areas outside this region (e.g., in parts of California).
CJD is not contagious person to person, although cases have arisen from various types of tissue transplants and from human growth hormone injections. Hospital guidelines have been developed to avoid those types of transmission. A new variant of CJD was detected in 1995, now referred to as vCJD.
Prions, the agents that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, can spread through the air and induce infection, according to new research led by the University of Zurich; a discovery that may come as a great surprise to many, because until now it was thought ...
In cattle naturally infected with BSE, the BSE agent has been found in brain tissue, in the spinal cord, and in the retina of the eye. Additional experimental studies suggest that the BSE agent may also be present in the small intestine, tonsil, bone marrow, and dorsal root ganglia (lying along the vertebral column).
Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease which occurs in both domestic and wild animals. Essentially, this viral disease attacks the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is almost always fatal to both animals and humans.
Zoonotic diseases are difficult to control, particularly because of their animal reservoirs. Indeed, unlike diseases such as smallpox and polio, most zoonotic diseases cannot be eradicated through intensive human vaccination campaigns.
Historical data shows that all pandemic influenza occurrences originated from animals. All subtypes of influenza type A virus have zoonotic potential. Pigs are ideal candidates for re-assortment or mutation of influenza viruses.
What is the difference between mad cow disease and CJD?
CJD is not related to Mad Cow Disease (BSE). Although they are both considered TSE's, only people get CJD and only cattle get Mad Cow disease. What causes CJD? CJD is caused by a protein called a prion.
Prions are tiny proteins that, for some reason, fold over in a way that damages healthy brain cells. You can have them for many years before you notice any symptoms. Prion diseases cause dementia, but not Alzheimer's disease. Different genes and proteins are involved in Alzheimer's.