Keywords: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, prion diseases, risk analysis, risk assessment, risk communication, risk management, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, TSE, animals
Risk analysis of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in animals: state-of-the-art
The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) crisis of the last two decades has shown that proper interaction of risk assessment, risk management and risk communication is essential. Mathematical models and risk assessments have been used as a basis for BSE risk management options and much of the legislation regarding the control and eradication of BSE. Much uncertainty regarding important input parameters remains a major constraint in risk assessment. Uncertainty is one of the most critical and most difficult aspects of communication of risks about Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). Nevertheless, the decline in the BSE epidemic in the UK and most European countries demonstrates that management has been, for the most part, successful. Literature pertaining to the three inter-related facets of risk analysis: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication of TSEs of animal origin was reviewed and used to describe the state-of-the-art of risk analysis for TSEs.