Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or "Mad Cow Disease"
Since 1996, evidence has been increasing for a causal relationship between the outbreak in Europe of a disease in cattle, called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow disease"), and a disease in humans, called "variant" Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).
Both disorders are invariably fatal brain diseases with unusually long incubation periods measured in years, and are caused by abnormally folded proteins in the brain called "prions" (pree-ons).
- About Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
General information about mad cow disease, background, evolution, and current concerns and information from the CDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Foreign Agriculture Service.
- Health Care Provider Information on vCJD
Bovine Spongiform Encepahalopathy (BSE) and "variant" Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) information for Health Care Providers.