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BSE Definitions and Acronyms

BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) – BSE is the bovine (beef) form of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). (Source: APHIS)

 Cervids – Cervids are animals in the deer family. (Source: Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources)

CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) – CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) affecting elk and deer (cervids) in North America. This degenerative neurological illness has affected both farmed and wild cervids in the US, thus impacting the hunting and wildlife industries as well as domestic and international markets for farmed cervids and cervid products. (Source: APHIS)

CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) – CJD is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans. CJD is endemic throughout the world, including the United States. The median age at death of patients with classic CJD in the United States, for example, is 68 years, and very few cases occur in persons under 30 years of age. (Source: CDC)

v-CJD (variant-Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) – Still fatal, vCJD contrasts classic CJD, by predominantly affecting younger people, has atypical clinical features, with prominent psychiatric or sensory symptoms at the time of clinical presentation and delayed onset of neurological abnormalities. These abnormalities may include ataxia within weeks or months, dementia and myoclonus late in the illness, a duration of illness of at least 6 months, and a diffusely abnormal non-diagnostic electroencephalogram. The median age at death of patients with vCJD in the United Kingdom is 28 years. (Source: CDC)

Downer Cows – Downer cows are cattle that show neurological problems. Downers are also referred to as non-ambulatory disabled animals.

FMD (Foot and Mouth Disease) – Foot-and-Mouth Disease is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hooved ruminants. The disease is characterized by fever and blister-like lesions followed by erosions (vesicles) on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves. Many affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them debilitated. It causes severe losses in the production of meat and milk. The disease is caused by a virus. There are at least seven separate types and many subtypes of the FMD virus. Immunity to one type does not protect an animal against other types. FMD viruses can be spread by humans, but humans are not susceptible to the virus.

Index Herd – The index herd is that with which a diseased animal was associated when, or immediately before, the diagnostic sample was taken.  The term "index herd" applies once the presumptive diagnosis has been made (before that, it is referred to simply as the herd with which the diseased cow was most recently associated).

Prion Protein – Primarily found in neurological tissue, including the brain and spinal cord, a prion protein is a nerve-cell surface component that is resistant to physical and chemical treatments that inactivate conventional viruses, e.g., formalin and ionizing radiation. Prions are stable at high temperatures (survive rendering), resistant to a wide range of enzymes, and tolerant of pHs ranging from 2.5 to 10.5. (Source: National Renderers Association)

Rendered Feed Products – Rendered feed products are biological compounds derived (concentrated and isolated) from animals for the purpose of incorporating them in animal feed. Rendering plants typically produce two types of products: meat and bone meal, and fats and oils. Meat and bone meal is a protein supplement used in the manufacture of some animal feeds. FDA’s “animal feed” rule, which took effect in 1997, is a public health measure designed to prevent the spread of BSE by prohibiting the feeding of most mammalian protein to ruminant animals such as cows, sheep and goats. Currently more than 99% of firms handling mammalian protein are in compliance with the animal feed rule.

Ruminant Animals – Ruminants (cows, sheep, goats) have a fermentative type of digestion that is carried in the first two compartments of the ruminant stomach, water removal and fatty acid absorption in the third compartment, and a simple type of digestion (hydrolysis) carried out in the fourth compartment of the stomach and the small intestine. The amount of fermentative digestion that takes place can greatly influence the nutrient needs of ruminant animals, particularly protein needs.

Scrapie – Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats.  It is among a number of diseases classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE).  Infected flocks that contain a high percentage of susceptible animals can experience significant production losses.  Over a period of several years the number of infected animals increases, and the age at onset of clinical signs decreases making these flocks economically unviable.(Source: APHIS)

TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) – Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a family of diseases of humans and animals characterized by spongy degeneration of the brain with severe and fatal neurological signs and symptoms.  See BSE, CWD, CJD, Scrapie, TME. (Source: APHIS)

TME (Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy) – Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) is a rare illness that affects the central nervous system of ranch-raised mink. It was first detected in the United States in 1947. Since then, TME outbreaks have been reported in numerous locations worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Finland, Germany, and the republics of the former Soviet Union. (Source: APHIS)

Last Updated:10/2/2009 12:31 AM

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