|Britt, Jenks - WESTERN KY UNIVERSITY|
|Pike, A - WESTERN KY UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Conference on Gastrointestinal Function
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 11, 2005
Publication Date: April 16, 2005
Citation: Cook, K.L., Britt, J., Pike, A. Evaluation of mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis survival in the environment. Conference on Gastrointestinal Function. Abstract CD-ROM Technical Abstract: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the causative agent of Johne's disease, a chronic, enteric infection that is passed insidiously from adults to calves via the fecal-oral route. MAP has become the focus of unwanted attention due to its increased prevalence and the economic impact resulting from decreased milk production and the need to replace culled animals. MAP awareness has also risen due to its possible association with Crohn's disease in humans. Johne's disease has been detected on the agricultural research farm at Western Kentucky University, and although eradication plans have been in place for the past 4 years, there has been no reduction in the number of clinical cases. There is now a cooperative effort underway to attempt to eradicate the disease through optimization of best management practices and determination of site-sources of the organism. The goal of this study was to evaluate MAP incidence in dairy cattle as well as in potentially infected areas on the farm (e.g. cattle alleyways, barns, storage facilities). A PCR assay was developed to target the IS900 insertion sequence, a sequence specific for MAP. Molecular analysis of fecal and agricultural samples was conducted and positive results were obtained for three different cattle samples and from bedding in a contaminated birthing stall. Amplification of the correct product was confirmed by DNA sequence analysis of cloned PCR products. Standards were established for use in quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Further cattle fecal and farm-source samples will be obtained and quantified to detect MAP. Results to date suggest that molecular analysis should permit detection of key sources of the pathogen and provide fundamental new information that will aid in eradication of the disease.