TSE is short for animal diseases called 'Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies'. These diseases include BSE, scrapie and CWD and are caused by a pathogenic, heat-resistant prion protein. The prion is also resistant to UV and ionised radiation, and to disinfectants.
BSE was first described in cattle in Great Britain in 1986. Since then, it has spread mainly in Europe. There are also atypical forms of BSE based on spontaneous mutations of the prion protein. A new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans was first diagnosed in 1996. Today it is assumed that BSE is transmitted to humans via food.
Scrapie is a prion disease in sheep and goats that has been known in Europe for centuries. It is not transmissible to humans. Atypical scrapie is a disease of a single animal , the exact nature of which is still being researched, but which also occurs in other countries that are free of classical scrapie.
CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) is a brain disease that occurs in North America in various species of deer and elk, but its significance for humans is not clear yet. In 2016, five cases of CWD were discovered in Norway and thus for the first time in Europe. Since then, cases of CWD have also occurred in Finland and Sweden.
The actual origin of the disease is unknown.
Mode of transmission
The disease is transmitted by feeding cattle meat and bone meal produced from contaminated and insufficiently treated animal carcasses.
Behavioural changes (anxious/aggressive reactions), uncoordinated gait, falling down, abnormal reactions to touch and sound, fear of crossing the manure pit, fear of passages, fear of the smallest obstacles, hypersensitivity to light, muscle trembling.