Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease
BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion. The nature of the transmissible agent is not well understood. Currently, the most accepted theory is that the agent is a modified form of a normal protein known as prion protein. For reasons that are not yet understood, the normal prion protein changes into a pathogenic (harmful) form that then damages the central nervous system of cattle.
- United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: About BSEExternal
- The National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance CenterExternal
- FDA, Bovine Spongiform EncephalopathyExternal
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in North AmericaExternal