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Case-control study of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy born after July 31, 1996 (BARB cases) in Great Britain

This paper reports the results of a case-control study of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cases born in Great Britain after the statutory reinforcement of the ban (BARB) on the feeding of mammalian-derived meat and bone meal on 31 July 1996.

A total of 499 suspect clinical cases of BSE, born after 31 July 1996, and reported negative by July 31, 1996 and were compared with the set of 164 confirmed Great BARB cases in Great Britain detected by both passive and active surveillance. Animal-level risk factors (age and type of feed offered) and herd-level risk factors (herd size and type, number of prereinforced feed ban BSE cases born on the holding, the presence of other domestic species and waste management) were obtained for the analysis.

BARB cases were 2.56 times (95 per cent CI 1.29 to 5.07) more likely to be exposed to homemix or a combination of homemix and proprietary feeds were 0.59 times (95 per cent CI 0.50 to 0.69) as less likely to be exposed to the unit increases in the number of prereinforced feed ban BSE cases diagnosed on the natal holding. A supplementary spatial analysis of these cases revealed three areas of excess BARB density: Northwest and Southwest of Wales and Northeast of Scotland.

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