Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, generally known as Mad cow condition, is a fatal condition that hits the nerve system of cattle. Currently, no vaccine or treatment exists to treat BSE, and affected animals show an extensive range of neurological symptoms before they die. An animal with outward signals of BSE might live for two weeks to half a year, though it can have carried the illness for up to 8 years. BSE has an incubation period which range from 30 months to 8 years, which is just a lengthy time for a disease to stay undetected. BSE is a condition that only cows develop, yet, it is linked to a Brain wasting disease which affects humans, called Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.
CJD happens because of a spontaneous mutation occurring in one in every million people. In 1996, another type of CJD was identified and it has since been named Variant CJD. This variant type of CJD has been connected to the use of meat products contaminated with BSE. Scientists believe which BSE is most often spread on the practice of feeding the various meats from slaughtered animals like sheep, goats, along with other cattle. In this process, an abnormal protein that’s linked to BSE may spread from the slaughtered infected animal to a healthful one. Since the incubation period to get BSE is so long, it’s feasible for an infected creature to enter the food chain until the signs appear.
Proteins are long molecules which are folded up into specific forms. A prion is folded differently from the regular protein, and it could cause normal protein to change and fold abnormally. The resulting solidification of the proteins causes the infected brain tissue to look like a sponge with many tiny holes, hence the name Spongiform encephalopathy. Since BSE damages the brain tissue, it’s got a wide range of symptoms which range from behavioural changes to co-ordination problems. Cows with BSE might show nervousness or aggressive behavior, trouble with co-ordination, trouble standing up, reduced milk production, and weight reduction. The condition is fatal, with death often occurring two weeks to six months after symptoms start. In humans, both CJD and vCJD will also be fatal problems, with death happening 6 to two years after symptoms first appear. The only way to confirm the existence of BSE is by examining the brain tissue of a creature after it dies. Upon evaluation, the mind is located to be saturated in little holes, like a sponge.