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Co-ordination of national surveillance programmes for CJD in the European union


The identification of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD) has raised concerns about a potential public health risk through the transmission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) to the human population. Assessment of this risk may depend on epidemiological surveillance to allow the identification of cases of nvCJD and analysis of risk factors for this condition. The European Union Council has recommended "Extension to all member states of the epidemiological surveillance of CJD based on the methods applied in five member states" and on 07/11/96 "The rapid establishment of epidemiological surveillance of CJD in all member states, on the basis of comparable data". Through the BIOMED1 programme, a grant was awarded for the co-ordination of CJD surveillance programmes in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. Through an application to the BIOMED2 programme the intention is to continue the co-ordination of these epidemiological surveillance programmes in already participating countries and to extend the project to Switzerland, Canada and Australia. The objective of the current proposal is to co-ordinate the surveillance of CJD in member states not already involved in the BIOMED2programme.

The major objectives of this proposal are to:
1. Establish agreed diagnostic criteria for the classification of classical and nvCJD;
2. The co-ordination of CJD surveillance activities in member states;
3. Harmonisation and comparison of methods of data collection and analysis;
4. Analysis of risk factors for nvCJD including past medical history, occupation and diet;
5. To provide prompt and accurate information on the epidemiological characteristics of CJD in the European Union.

Keywords: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; national case registries, epidemiology; molecularbiology; case control study. 01 01


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