A spatio-temporal analysis was carried out to see how the risk distribution of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in France changed depending on the period of birth. The data concerned the 539 BSE cases born in France after the ban (BAB) of meat and bone meal (MBM) in 1990 and detected between July 1, 2001 and December 31, 2003, when the surveillance of BSE was comprehensive. Seventy-two of these cases were born after the reinforced (second) ban (BASB) in 1996, which involved the removal of BSE-risk materials and cadavers from the processing of MBM. The Ederer-Myers-Mantel (EMM) time and space cluster test was applied, after classifying the cases by trimester and region of birth, BAB or BASB status, and dairy or beef status. Then disease mapping was performed for four successive birth periods, three for the BAB cases (January 1991 through June 1994, July 1994 through June 1995, July 1995 through June 1996), and one for the BASB (July 1996 through October 1998). It was elaborated with the Bayesian graphical modelling methods and based on a Poisson distribution with spatial smoothing. The parameters were estimated by a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation method. The main finding was that the areas with the highest risk of BSE changed largely from one birth period to another; from the west, it reached the east of France for birth cohort 1994-1995 and the southwest for birth cohort 1995-1996. The EMM test identified a peak risk in this region both for dairy and beef cattle in the fall 1995. The spatial distribution of the risk for the BASB cases matched the spatial pattern of risk for the preceding BAB birth cohort quite well; this was in favour of a common origin of the infection of the BAB and BASB cases, despite the complementary control measures.
- Disease mapping
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