Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy and Meat Safety

  • Hester J.T. Ward
  • Richard S.G. Knight
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) comprise a wide-ranging group of neurodegenerative diseases found in animals and humans. They have diverse causes and geographical distributions, but have similar pathological features, transmissibility and, are ultimately, fatal. Central to all TSEs is the presence of an abnormal form of a normal host protein, namely the prion protein. Because of their potential transmissibility, these diseases have wide public health ramifications.

In humans several forms of prion disease have been described, which can be divided into three groups related to causation such as idiopathic (sporadic CJD), acquired (iatrogenic CJD, variant CJD and kuru) and genetic forms of the disease (Table 5.1). Variant CJD (vCJD) has been shown to be caused by the same agent as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and is most likely to have been transmitted to humans as a result of contamination of meat and meat products in...


Prion Protein Prion Disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Chronic Wasting Disease Human Prion Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National CJD Surveillance UnitUniversity of Edinburgh, Western General HospitalEdinburgh EH4 2XUScotland
  2. 2.National CJD Surveillance UnitUniversity of Edinburgh, Western General HospitalEdinburghUK

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