Spatial analysis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Galicia, Spain (2000-2005)

Prev Vet Med. 2007 May 16;79(2-4):174-85. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2006.11.012. Epub 2007 Jan 12.


In Spain, the first bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) case was detected in 2000 in a cow born in the Galicia region (Northwestern Spain). From then and until October 2005, 590 cases were detected, 223 of them in Galicia. In 1994, meat and bone meal (MBM) was banned on ruminant feed and, in 1996, an EU decision mandating an overall change in MBM processing was implemented. This decision was gradually applied in the territory and not enforced before July 1998. The objective of this study was to explore clustering of BSE cases and estimate the standard incidence ratio (SIR) of BSE in Galicia. Our study was based on the BSE cases detected during the surveillance period 2000-2005 in the Galicia region. These cases were divided, based on birth date, into two periods: animals born from 1994 to July 1998, and those born after July 1998. We tested the role of cross-contamination on the geographical SIR distribution for both periods. Hierarchical Bayesian models were used to model the overdispersion and lack of independence of the SIR estimates. The geographical distribution of the standard incidence ratio of BSE between both periods was different. In the second period, the SIR was reduced in some areas. The reduction in these areas could be attributable to the changes in the processing of MBM. We did not find any statistical link between the poultry population and the standard incidence ratio, but pig population had a positive effect.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed* / standards
  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cattle
  • Encephalopathy, Bovine Spongiform / epidemiology*
  • Encephalopathy, Bovine Spongiform / transmission*
  • Female
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sentinel Surveillance / veterinary*
  • Space-Time Clustering
  • Spain / epidemiology