Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 35, Number 3, May-June 2004
Page(s) 299 - 308
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2004) 299-308
Vet. Res. 35 (2004) 299-308
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2004013

Estimating the trend of the French BSE epidemic over six birth cohorts through the analysis of abattoir screening in 2001 and 2002

Claude La Bonnardièrea, b, Didier Calavasc, David Abriala, Eric Morignatc and Christian Ducrota

a  Unité d'Épidémiologie Animale, INRA Theix, 63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
b  Unité de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, INRA, Domaine de Vilvert, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
c  Unité d'Épidémiologie, AFSSA Lyon, 31 av. T. Garnier, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France

(Received 8 September 2003; accepted 29 January 2004)

Abstract - A bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) testing programme at the abattoir started in 2001 in France. A total of 5 281 293 bovines were tested in 2001 and 2002; 87 were found positive in 2001 - 37 per million (95% CI 30-46) -, whereas only 71 in 2002 - 24 per million (95% CI 19-30). Logistic regression models were run to compare the prevalence of BSE on successive birth cohorts, using a pair-wise method of controlling for age at testing; the prevalence on the first one, determined on animals slaughtered in 2001, was compared to the prevalence on the following one determined on animals slaughtered in 2002. Five models were performed in order to compare the birth cohorts preceding and following the months of June 1993 (i.e. July 92-June 93 birth cohort compared to July 93-June 94 birth cohort) (8.5 years old cattle), June 1994 (7.5 years old cattle), June 1995 (6.5 years old cattle), June 1996 (5.5 years old cattle) and June 1997 (4.5 years old cattle). The models were adjusted for the production type of cattle and the test used. The results showed a significant increase (OR = 2.31, 95% CI 1.08-4.9) of the BSE prevalence between the July 93-June 94 and July 94-June 95 cohorts, and then a significant decrease over the next two birth cohorts; the July 95-June 96 birth cohort was significantly less affected than the July 94-June 95 one (OR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.27-0.78), and the July 96-June 97 birth cohort was significantly less affected than the July 95-June 96 one (OR = 0.17, 95% CI 0.07-0.37). The increase in BSE prevalence between the July 93-June 94 and July 94-June 95 cohorts was in agreement with modelling studies, but needs to be confronted to the data on fallen stock at the national level. The decrease in BSE prevalence on the birth cohorts born after June 1995 was in agreement with the findings on the fallen stock in the western part of France and matches the implementation of the removal of specified risk materials (SRM) and dead animals from the processing of meat and bone meal (MBM) since June 1996.

Key words: BSE / prevalence / epidemiology / abattoir screening / logistic regression

Corresponding author: Christian Ducrot

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004