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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENOMIC AND IMMUNOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF JOHNE'S DISEASE Title: Diseases of Dairy Animals: Infectious Diseases: Johne's Disease

Authors
item Collins, M - UNIV. OF WISCONSIN
item Stabel, Judith

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2009
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Citation: Collins, M.T., Stabel, J.R. 2011. Diseases of dairy animals: infectious diseases: Johne's disease. In: Fuquay, J.W., Fox, P.F., McSweeney, P.L.H., editors. Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences. 2nd edition. Oxford, UK: Academic Press (Elsevier). p.174-180.

Interpretive Summary: Johne's disease is a chronic, debilitating intestinal disorder in cattle, sheep and wild ruminants, characterized by diarrhea, weight loss and death. Animals usually become infected when they are young by ingesting feces or milk containing the causative bacteria. However, clinical signs of disease do not usually present themselves until the animals reach 3 to 5 years of age or even older. During this time the animal is infected and may be shedding the organism in its feces without showing any clinical signs of disease. In addition to reduced production by these animals, they also present a potential infective threat to the rest of the herd. Johne’s disease is difficult to diagnose and therefore to control. Diagnosis of infection is most frequently performed by direct culture or PCR of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratubercuosis from the feces or by indirect measurement of antibodies in the serum and milk. Control measures for paratuberculosis include management at the herd level to reduce exposure of susceptible neonates to contaminated manure or milk. Vaccination is another management tool that is becoming more widely used. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis has been detected in tissues from some patients with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder in humans. However, this association is not clear and Mb. a. paratuberculosis is not classified as a zoonotic agent.

Technical Abstract: Johne's disease is a chronic, debilitating intestinal disorder in cattle, sheep and wild ruminants, characterized by diarrhea, weight loss and death. Animals usually become infected when they are young by ingesting feces or milk containing the causative bacteria. However, clinical signs of disease do not usually present themselves until the animals reach 3 to 5 years of age or even older. During this time the animal is infected and may be shedding the organism in its feces without showing any clinical signs of disease. In addition to reduced production by these animals, they also present a potential infective threat to the rest of the herd. Johne’s disease is difficult to diagnose and therefore to control. Diagnosis of infection is most frequently performed by direct culture or PCR of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratubercuosis from the feces or by indirect measurement of antibodies in the serum and milk. Control measures for neonates to contaminated manure or milk. Vaccination is another management tool that is becoming more widely used. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis has been detected in tissues from some patients with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder in humans. However, this association is not clear and Mb. a. paratuberculosis is not classified as a zoonotic agent.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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