How common is bovine spongiform encephalopathy?

< 1 per million cows. There are ~42 million head of cattle in the usa, and the best estimate is that there are between 4 and 7 infected animals.

Related Questions

How is bovine spongiform encephalopathy cured?

It isn't. This is a disease of cattle (mad cow disease) that is fatal to them and may cause a variant of creutzfeldt-jakob disease in humans which has no cure and is also fatal. Read more...

Can the cause of bovine spongiform encephalopathy be "cooked" away?

Probably not. Bse is a disease that afflicts mostly cattle and is caused by a prion which can resist destruction by standards methods of cooking. Read more...

Is creutzfeldt-jakob disease related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy?

BSE = CJD in cows. Both diseases are spongiform encephalopathies. Cjd is a human form, and bse is a bovine form. Consumption of beef from cattle with bse can cause variant cjd in humans. Read more...
Both are prion DZ's. Creutzfeldt-jakob is the term we use for disease caused by prions when there is no family history or known exposure to prions. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy was a particular strain of slightly-different prions that went epidemic in england from poor meat-industry practices; different pathology and clinical picture. Read more...

How do you diagnose spongiform encephalopathy?

Brain biopsy. There are new CSF markers that can be tested if the fluid is sent to the national prion surveillance lab at case western (e.g., 14-3-3 and tau) but biopsy is still more likely to be definitive. Neither 14-3-3 nor tau is completely specific for bse. Read more...

What is spongiform encephalopathy?

Mad cow (prion) dis. The brain in prion disease shows large distended vacuoles (bubbles) to the extent that under the microscope, the vacuoles are empty, giving the brain an appearance that is reminiscent of a sponge (or swiss cheese, for that matter). Read more...