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Title: Statistical modelling of UK dietary exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Author: Cooper, J. D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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Surprisingly, few attempts have been made to ascertain the data required to quantify human dietary exposure to BSE. After investigations, the primary sources of exposure were assumed to have been through the consumption of burgers, sausages and other meat products containing beef mechanically recovered meat (MRM) and head meat, which were potentially contaminated respectively with BSE infected spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia, and brain. Risk analyses for contamination are conducted and meat product destination and calendar year production are estimated using information collected from reports, interviews and the BSE Inquiry. Subsequently, calendar year exposures to BSE in burgers, sausages and other meat products are simulated and dietary data used to partition exposures by the age-group and gender of their consumers. Simulation models are constructed to predict vCJD incidence using the dietary exposure intensities to BSE. Despite incubation period uncertainty, overall low predictions of vCJD incidence within the subpopulation of the UK with the affected genotype are made. According to the best fitting models, almost two-thirds of predicted vCJD patients in 2001-2005 are expected to be in the post-1969 birth cohort, whose vCJD incidence is predicted to peak in this calendar period and to outnumber (about 1.5 times more onsets) those in the 1940 to 1969 birth cohort. Very few onsets are predicted to occur after 2010 in the post-1969 birth cohort. In contrast, for the 1940 to 1969 birth cohort, almost half of onsets are predicted to occur after 2010. About three-fifths of vCJD patients are expected to be male. The dietary exposure intensities to BSE show that the age distribution of observed vCJD patients can only arise if younger individuals have a shorter incubation period and/or more susceptible to infection. There is remarkable similarity between the age distribution and gender of simulated and observed vCJD patients, which supports the assumptions made about the primary sources of human dietary exposure to BSE.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available