Bovine spongiform encephalopathy,
Information received on 24/01/2017 from Dr Martin Blake, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Agriculture House, Dublin, Ireland
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 13/01/2017
Date of confirmation of the event 14/01/2017
Report date 23/01/2017
Date submitted to OIE 24/01/2017
Date event resolved 18/01/2017
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 25/06/2015
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent BSE prion
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country
Related reports Immediate notification (23/01/2017)
Follow-up report No. 1 (26/01/2017)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Loughrea, Galway
Date of start of the outbreak 13/01/2017
Outbreak status Resolved (18/01/2017)
Epidemiological unit Farm
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Cattle 3 1 0 3 0
Affected population One case animal, two cohorts alive (there were 218 cohorts electronically, all of which are dead). The two alive cohorts were slaughtered and disposed of yesterday (23/01/2017) and were rapid tested last night. The case animal gave birth to 12 progeny all of which are either dead.
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Cattle 3 1 0 3 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Cattle 33.33% 0.00% 0.00% 100.00%
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments On 14th January, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) was advised of a positive result to a rapid screening test (Idexx HerdChek BSE/Scrapie Antigen Test Kit using the Ultra-Short protocol) carried out by an accredited private laboratory approved by the competent authority. The suspect animal was sampled by DAFM staff at a knackery as part of the on-going official sampling of all fallen (died on farm) animals of 48 months and older. The sample material and the brain were subsequently forwarded to the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) where samples from different brain areas were subject to confirmatory testing using an OIE-approved confirmatory Western blot method, a two-blot protocol for the classification of BSE isolates. All the samples had an identical molecular pattern indicating atypical L Type BSE. In accordance with NRL protocols, samples from the animal were then sent for histopathology and immunohistochemistry on the medulla of the brain. These are further OIE confirmatory testing methods for BSE. Results of these tests are due this week. Final confirmatory test results were received from the NRL on 18th January 2017 confirming the case to be atypical L type BSE. The animal was an Aberdeen Angus female, born on 5 March 1998. The animal was born in a herd in County Cork and it moved early in its life to the herd in Galway where it remained for the rest of its life. The farmer reported that the animal had appeared stiff for 2 weeks prior to death. On 11th January the animal was recumbent but it recovered and it became recumbent again on the morning of January 13th. The decision was taken to euthanize the animal then. The animal remained eating and drinking at all times.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Movement control inside the country
  • Official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste
  • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (National laboratory) Cattle histopathological examination Pending
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (National laboratory) Cattle immunohistochemical test Pending
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (National laboratory) Cattle western blot 18/01/2017 Positive
Enfer laboratories (Private Laboratory) Cattle rapid tests 14/01/2017 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations