Health topics

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a transmissible, neurodegenerative, fatal brain disease of cattle. The disease has an incubation period of 4-5 years, but death usually occurs within months of disease onset. The disease first came to prominence in 1986, when it appeared in cattle in the United Kingdom. BSE has been linked to the appearance in humans of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.