vCJD risk in the Republic of Ireland.
Harney MS., Ghani AC., Donnelly CA., Walsh RM., Walsh M., Howley R., Brett F., Farrell M.
BACKGROUND: The Republic of Ireland has the second highest incidence of BSE worldwide. Only a single case of vCJD has been identified to date. METHODS: We estimate the total future number of clinical cases of vCJD using an established mathematical model, and based on infectivity of bovine tissue calculated from UK data and on the relative exposure to BSE contaminated meat. RESULTS: We estimate 1 future clinical case (95% CI 0-15) of vCJD in the Republic of Ireland. Irish exposure is from BSE infected indigenous beef products and from imported UK beef products. Additionally, 2.5% of the Irish population was exposed to UK beef through residing in the UK during the 'at-risk' period. The relative proportion of risk attributable to each of these three exposures individually is 2:2:1 respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The low numbers of future vCJD cases estimated in this study is reassuring for the Irish population and for other countries with a similar level of BSE exposure.