Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Resources
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), widely referred to as “mad cow disease,” is a progressive and fatal neurologic disease of cattle. It is caused by an unconventional transmissible agent, an abnormal prion protein. BSE belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) that includes scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease in deer, elk and moose, and in humans, classic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) among other syndromes. The prion agent is resistant to enzymatic breakdown and most disinfection treatments. Clinical signs in cattle include behavioral changes, coordination problems, weight loss and decreased milk production.