Title: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease risk management in Italy

Authors: Michael G. Tyshenko, Daniel Krewski

Addresses: McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, 1 Stewart St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5, Canada. ' McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, 1 Stewart St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5, Canada; Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada

Abstract: Italy experienced two imported cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 1994 and viewed the disease as a |foreign| problem. Early, precautionary actions including: a 1989 ban on UK meat and bone meal (MBM), 1990 ban on UK beef, 1994 domestic ban on mammalian MBM to ruminants, and 1996 ban on UK live cattle, protected Italy from a much larger outbreak. In 2001 Italy implemented an effective and active BSE surveillance system in compliance with European Union regulations. Probably little MBM feeding or amplification of BSE agent occurred within Italian herds after 1996. BSE cases have declined since 2001. In 2007, the European Commission recognised Italy as a controlled BSE risk country. To date only two cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) have been reported. A limited blood donor exclusion policy is in place to prevent cases of blood transfusion mediated vCJD.

Keywords: variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; vCJD; Italy; risk management; bovine spongiform encephalopathy; BSE; mad cow disease; variant CJD; food safety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2010.035271

International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 2010 Vol.14 No.3/4, pp.273 - 283

Available online: 18 Sep 2010 *

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