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Epidemiological assessment of the potential risk to human health in GB posed by possible BSE infection within the national sheep flock
Project Code: M03014;
- Truscott, J.E. & Ferguson, N.M. (2009) Control of scrapie in the UK sheep population. Epidemiology and Infection, 137, 775-86
- Truscott, J.E. & Ferguson, N.M. (2009) Transmission dynamics and mechanisms of endemicity of scrapie in the UK sheep population. Epidemiology and Infection, 137, 762-74
Dept. of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
The aim of this study was to explore the potential extent of BSE within the UK sheep population and the threat to human health that it represents. We used epidemiological parameter estimates from experimental BSE infection of sheep, and where data were unavailable, assumed (given the observed similarities in BSE and scrapie pathogenesis in sheep) that other aspects of disease epidemiology resemble those of scrapie. Key to the analysis were the infectivity of ovine tissues during disease incubation and the demography of the sheep population. Data were limited for BSE in sheep, so an infectiousness profile was synthesized from studies of sheep infected by oral challenge and data for scrapie pathogenesis. A separate sheep-human infectiousness profile was constructed based on tissue-specific usage in food and the effect of the 1997 specific risk materials ban in sheep.
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