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Objective—To estimate the relative risk of paratuberculosis (Johne's disease [JD]) in calves fed a plasma-derived colostrum-replacement (CR) product versus raw bovine maternal colostrum (MC).

Study Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—497 heifer calves born in 12 JD-endemic commercial Holstein dairy farms located in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Procedures—Every calf was separated from its dam within 30 to 60 minutes after birth and systematically assigned to be fed raw bovine MC (control group, n = 261 calves) or CR (treatment group, 236 calves). The calves were monitored to adulthood and tested for Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) infection by use of an ELISA to detect serum antibodies against MAP and bacterial culture for MAP in feces at approximately 30, 42, and 54 months of age. Weibull regression models were used to evaluate the effect of feeding CR (vs raw bovine MC) on the risk of developing JD infection.

Results—Calves fed CR at birth were less likely (hazard ratio = 0.559) to become infected with MAP (as determined by use of an ELISA, bacterial culture, or both diagnostic tests), compared with the likelihood for calves fed MC at birth.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study revealed that feeding CR reduced the risk of developing MAP infection in Holstein calves born in JD-endemic herds, which implied that feeding raw bovine MC may be a source of MAP for calves. Plasma colostrum-replacement products may be an effective management tool for use in dairy herds attempting to reduce the prevalence of JD.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To develop a cattle herd risk-profiling system that could potentially inform risk-based surveillance strategies for Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle and provide information that could be used to help direct resource allocation by a state agency for this purpose.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Records for any size movement (importation) of cattle into Minnesota from other US states during 2009 (n = 7,185) and 2011 (8,107).

PROCEDURES Data from certificates of veterinary inspection were entered into a spreadsheet. Movement data were summarized at premises and county levels, and for each level, the distribution of cattle moved and number of movements were evaluated. Risk profiling (assessment and categorization of risk for disease introduction) for each import movement was performed on the basis of known risk factors. Latent class analysis was used to assign movements to risk classifications with adjustment on the basis of expert opinions from personnel knowledgeable about bovine tuberculosis; these data were used to classify premises as very high, high, medium, or low risk for disease introduction.

RESULTS In each year, approximately 1,500 premises imported cattle, typically beef and feeder types, with the peak of import movements during the fall season. The risk model identified 4 risk classes for cattle movements. Approximately 500 of the estimated 27,406 (2%) cattle premises in Minnesota were in the very high or high risk groups for either year; greatest density of these premises was in the southeast and southwest regions of the state.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A risk-profiling approach was developed that can be applied in targeted surveillance efforts for bovine tuberculosis, particularly in disease-free areas.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association