Objective—To evaluate associations between Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) and caudal fold tuberculin (CFT) test results in cattle.
Design—Longitudinal and cross-sectional evaluations.
Animals—1 California (approx 3,600 cows) and 3 Colorado (approx 640, 1,190, and 1,480 cows) dairy herds considered free of Mycobacterium bovis infection.
Procedures—In the California herd, the association between CFT response and MAP status was determined with ELISA and mycobacterial culture of feces within 1 year before and after CFT testing. The association between CFT and MAP status in all herds was modeled with mixed-effects logistic regression.
Results—In the California herd, significantly higher odds of being classified as suspect by CFT were found for cows with results of MAP ELISA negative before and positive after CFT testing (OR, 5.6) and cows positive before and after CFT testing (OR, 8.1). Higher odds were found for cows positive for mycobacterial culture of feces before and negative for culture after CFT testing (OR, 4.6) and cows negative for mycobacterial culture of feces before and positive for culture after CFT testing (OR, 13.2). All herds had higher odds of being classified as suspect by CFT testing for cows with positive results for ELISA (OR, 2.9) or mycobacterial culture of feces (OR, 5.0), compared with cows with negative results of the same tests.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A strong association was found between positive MAP test results and being classified as a suspect by CFT testing. Within-herd MAP prevalence may affect specificity of CFT testing for tuberculosis in cattle.