Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Mathematical model that describe the key processes determining the pattern of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in British cattle are derived that allow for infection from feed as well as maternal and direct horizontal transmission. Heterogeneous susceptibility classes are also incorporated into the analysis. Maximum likelihood methods are used to estimate parameters and to obtain confidence intervals from available experimental and epidemiological data. A comprehensive sensitivity analysis of all model parameters and distributional assumptions is presented. Additional validation is provided by fitting the model to independent data collected in Northern Ireland. Model estimates and predictions based on BSE case data for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, together with their implications, are reviewed, and future research priorities discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

Publication Date





803 - 838


Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.


Animals, Cattle, Encephalopathy, Bovine Spongiform, Likelihood Functions, Risk Factors, Sensitivity and Specificity, Age Factors, Age Distribution, Models, Biological, Animal Feed, Northern Ireland, Female, Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical, Disease Transmission, Infectious, United Kingdom