Rare Form of BSE Could Be Natural Occurrence

Epidemiologist says latest U.S. BSE (mad cow) case may be something that happens rarely to old cattle.

Published on: Apr 24, 2012

It's possible the latest and fourth case of BSE in the United States is a natural but extremely rare occurrence.

Guy Longeragan, an epidemiologist and food safety expert at Texas Tech University, said Tuesday afternoon that the "atypical" form of BSE with which this California dairy cow was diagnosed "could be a spontaneous and extremely rare event, usually in older animals."

The case was diagnosed with what he called a protein fingerprint, similar to a DNA analysis.

Of the four BSE cases in this country, only the first one in 2003 was "classical" or typical BSE, which Longeragan said is known to be spread only through feed. The next two cases, discovered in 2005 and 2006, were both atypical cases and both were in beef cattle.

BSE FORM: Scientists explore atypical BSE and what it means.
BSE FORM: Scientists explore 'atypical' BSE and what it means.

So little is known about the atypical form of BSE that its origin is a mystery and there appears to be no scientific trail to follow, he said. BSE has never shown to be contagious to other animals in either form.

Worldwide there have been 180,000 cases of classical BSE but only just over 60 atypical cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirms this in its explanation of typical and atypical BSE. CDC reports that scientists in the UK in 2007 first suggested atypical BSE may be a distinct strain of prion disease, which is a protein. Unlike typical BSE, cases of atypical BSE may have risen spontaneously (although transmission through feed or the environment cannot be ruled out). The agency says French data support that theory about it being a sporadic disease.

Longeragan explained USDA will trace the latest infected cow to its origin and then investigate herd mates and related cattle going forward to the present, as has been done with all other cases.

He repeatedly stressed this event shows how effective are the monitoring systems USDA and other agencies have put in place.

"This is really an animal health issue and not a human health issue," added Colin Woodall, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Longeragan said, "This is an isolated event."

Woodall said NCBA and USDA have already been talking to U.S. trading partners and so far there has been no negative response from those export markets.

Longeragan outlined the many forms of protection the food system and human health system have put in place to protect the public from BSE:

  • USDA import prohibition of infected cattle.
  • Food and Drug Administration's ruminant meat and bone meal feeding ban.
  • USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service requires the removal of "specified risk materials" such as spinal cord from carcasses.
  • FDA and the Centers for Disease Control ban people who were residents of the UK during the time of the BSE outbreak from donating blood.
  • USDA inspects all carcasses multiple times.
  • USDA surveillance program tracks and tests 700,000 at risk animals, ongoing.
  • International export restrictions agree to control and destroy all such diseased cattle and parts from such cattle.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Molecular, Biochemical and Genetic Characteristics of BSE in Canada >>> The occurrence of atypical cases of BSE in countries such as Canada with low BSE prevalence and transmission risk argues for the occurrence of sporadic forms of BSE worldwide. <<< RE-Molecular, Biochemical and Genetic Characteristics of BSE in Canada Posted by flounder on 19 May 2010 at 21:21 GMT Greetings, >>> The occurrence of atypical cases of BSE in countries such as Canada with low BSE prevalence and transmission risk argues for the occurrence of sporadic forms of BSE worldwide. <<< In my opinion ; THE statement above is about as non-scientific as a statement can be. There is no proof what-so-ever that any of the atypical BSE cases or atypical scrapie cases anywhere on the globe was a spontaneous case without any route and source of the TSE agent. This is a myth. The USDA and the OIE are trying to make the atypical BSE cases and they have already made the atypical Scrapie cases a legal trading commodity, without any transmission studies first confirming that in fact these atypical TSE will not transmit via feed. I suppose it is a human transmission study in progress. IT's like what happened in England with c-BSE and the transmission to humans via nvCJD never happened to the OIE and the USDA. Canada does not have a low prevalence of BSE either, they have a high prevalence. WHO knows about North America ? it's just that the U.S.A. try's much harder at concealing cases of mad cow disease. THIS was proven with the first stumbling and staggering mad cow in Texas, that was Wisk away to be rendered without any test at all. Then, you had the second case of mad cow disease that the USDA et al was almost as successful with as the first one, but the O.I.G. stepped in and demanded testing over seas, this after many scientist around the globe spoke out. Finally, after an act of Congress, the second case of mad cow disease in Texas was confirmed. all this was done for a reason, and that reason was the OIE USDA BSE MRR policy. Again, This study reeks of TRADE policy wrangling. There is NO proof that the atypical TSE are spontaneous. please show me these transmission studies ? on the other hand, we now know that the L-type atypical BSE is much more virulent than the typical C-BSE, and we now know that the H-type atypical BSE will transmit to humans. WHY can it not be that these atypical cases are simply from feed that had different strains of TSE ? WHY is it that no one will comment on the studies that was suppose to show infectivity of tissues from atypical BSE ? WHY is it I had to file a FOIA on that issue? L-type atypical BSE (BASE) is more virulent than classical BSE, has a lymphotropic phenotype, and displays a modest transmission barrier in our humanized mice. BSE-H is also transmissible in our humanized Tg mice. SEE Liuting Qing1, Wenquan Zou1, Cristina Casalone2, Martin Groschup3, Miroslaw Polak4, Maria Caramelli2, Pierluigi Gambetti1, Juergen Richt5, Qingzhong Kong1 et al 2009 ; http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action;jsessionid=635CE9094E0EA15D5362B7D7B809448C?root=7143 Monday, February 11, 2013 APHIS USDA Letter to Stakeholders: Trade Accomplishments and failures (BSE, SCRAPIE, TSE, PRION, AKA MAD COW TYPE DISEASE) http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2013/02/aphis-usda-letter-to-stakeholders-trade.html

  2. Anonymous says:

    15 years later, and it still amazes me the bull shit the USDA puts out, of which most of the media follows. both of which are oblivious. very sad... OIE says the animal was sub-clinical ; http://web.oie.int/wahis/public.php?page=single_report&pop=1&reportid=11893 also, officials have confirmed it was a atypical L-type BASE BSE. I am deeply disturbed about the false and terribly misleading information that is being handed out by the USDA FDA et al about this recent case of the atypical L-type BASE BSE case in California. these officials are terribly misinformed (I was told they are not lying), about the risk factor and transmissibility of the atypical L-type BASE BSE. these are very disturbing transmission studies that the CDC PUT OUT IN 2012. I urge officials to come forward with the rest of this story. It is important to reiterate here, even though this animal did not enter the food chain, the fact that the USA now finds mad cow disease in samplings of 1 in 40,000 is very disturbing, and to add the fact that it was an atypical L-type BASE BSE, well that is very disturbing in itself. 1 out of 40,000, would mean that there were around 25 mad cows in the USA annually going by a National herd of 100 million (which now I don’t think the USA herd is that big), but then you add all these disturbing factors together, the documented link of sporadic CJD cases to atypical L-type BASE BSE, the rise in sporadic CJD cases in the USA of a new strain of CJD called ‘classification pending Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease’ cpCJD, in young and old, with long duration of clinical symptoms until death. the USA has a mad cow problem and have consistently covered it up. it’s called the SSS policy. ... see full text with updated transmission studies and science on the atypical L-type BASE BSE Jan. 2012 CDC. ... ***Oral Transmission of L-type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in Primate Model ***Infectivity in skeletal muscle of BASE-infected cattle ***feedstuffs- It also suggests a similar cause or source for atypical BSE in these countries. ***Also, a link is suspected between atypical BSE and some apparently sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. now, for the rest of the story, the most updated science on the atypical BSE strains, and transmission studies... Thursday, April 26, 2012 Update from USDA Regarding a Detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States WASHINGTON bulletin at 04/26/2012 10:11 PM EDT http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/04/update-from-usda-regarding-detection-of.html I lost my mom to the hvCJD, ‘confirmed’ DOD 12/14/97, and just made a promise. ... Terry S. Singeltary Sr. Bacliff, Texas USA 77518 flounder9@verizon.net

  3. Anonymous says:

    Statements by USDA that atypical bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE) from the fourth USA mad cow is not transmissible to humans or animals are false. > > "Intraspecies Transmission of BASE Induces Clinical Dullness and Amyotrophic Changes" > > 'Several lines of evidence suggest that BASE is highly virulent and easily transmissible to a wide host range. " > ( Lombardi, G, et al 2008) > > "Atypical BSE in Germany— Proof of transmissibility and biochemical characterization" > (Buschman, A. et als - 2006)" > > " Atypical BSE (BASE) transmitted from asymptomatic aging cattle to a primate" > (Comoy, E.E. et als - 2008)" > > Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is an infectious, transmissible prion disease -- a sister disease of sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (Soto, C. 2011; Jucker, M. 2010) AD epidemic - 6 million victims. Both BASE cows and AD victims have amyloid plaques in their brains. USDA reduced testing after the first three mad cows. Many aging cows are asymptomatic for BASE mad cow disease and can enter the human food supply untested and undetected. The Prion Institute of Albert, Canada, is now researching Autism (epidemic - one million victims) as a prion disease. The primary pathway of infectious risk for humans, including autism and AD victims, are hamburgers from huge Industrial mixing vats each containing meat from 50 to 100 untested animals from multiple states and two to four countries. Helane Shields, Alton, NH hshields@tds.net www.alzheimers-prions.com/

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