The molecular nature of the disease of the disease causing agent is uncertain. The disease is associated with an abnormal form of a membrane protein, PrP(prionprotein). A hypothesis was formed for which this abnormal protein is assumed to be the infectious agent of the disease. BSE develops as the result of food borne exposure to contaminated meat and bone meal in feeding rations. There is no sex or breed disposition although there has some evidence suggesting a maternal link for calves of infected cows. The modal age at onset is -5 years and can span the commercial lifespan of the infected cattle. The pathogenesis of the disease is unknown, but studies indicate that that after oral ingestion of infected feed, the agent replicates in the Peyer's patches of the ileum... [continues]
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