Assessing the aggregated probability of entry of a novel prion disease agent into the United Kingdom

Verity Horigan, Paul Gale, Amie Adkin, Timm Konold, Claire Cassar, John Spiropoulos, Louise Kelly

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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In 2018 prion disease was detected in camels at an abattoir in Algeria for the first time. The emergence of prion disease in this species made it prudent to assess the probability of entry of the pathogen into the United Kingdom (UK) from this region. Potentially contaminated products were identified as evidenced by other prion diseases. The aggregated probability of entry of the pathogen was estimated as very high and high for legal milk and cheese imports respectively and very high, high and high for illegal meat, milk and cheese products respectively. This aggregated probability represents a qualitative assessment of the probability of one or more entry events per year into the UK; it gives no indication of the number of entry events per year. The uncertainty associated with these estimates was high due to the unknown variation in prevalence of infection in camels and an uncertain number and type of illegal products entering the UK. Potential public health implications of this pathogen are unknown although there is currently no evidence of zoonotic transmission of prion diseases other than bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100134
Number of pages8
JournalMicrobial Risk Analysis
Early online date15 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • aggregated probability
  • entry assessment
  • prion agent


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