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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate associations among herd infection status, herd management practices, and familiarity of the herd manager with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) or prior disease diagnosis in that herd to support development of Johne's disease-control programs.

Design—Population-based cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—1,004 US dairies, each with ≥ 30 cows, representing 79.4% of US dairy cows.

Procedure—Questionnaires were administered to dairy managers, and blood samples were collected from cows during herd visits. Sera were tested for antibodies to M paratuberculosis, using a commercially available ELISA. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate associations between use of management practices, herd disease status, and familiarity of the manager with Johne's disease or prior diagnosis of Johne's disease in that herd.

Results—Results from serologic testing revealed that 3.4% of cows and 21.6% of dairy herds were infected with M paratuberculosis. Factors associated with infection included number of cows in herd, region of country, percentage of cows born at other dairies, group housing for periparturient cows, and group housing for preweaned calves. Few preventive practices were positively associated with prior diagnosis of Johne's disease (time of separation of newborn calf from dam) or familiarity of the manager with the disease (teats and udder washed before colostrum collected).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Risk factors associated with Johne's disease in this study confirmed those management practices generally recommended for disease control. An educational problem, however, is the finding that herd managers familiar with Johne's disease generally use management practices similar to those used by managers unfamiliar with the disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1450–1457)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare sensitivity of several methods of bacteriologic culture of pooled bovine fecal samples for detection of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis and evaluate homogeneity in number of M paratuberculosisin pooled fecal samples.

Sample Population—Feces from 10 dairy cows that shed M paratuberculosis at various concentrations and 1 dairy cow known to be free of infection with M paratuberculosis.

Procedure—5 fecal pooling methods, 2 culture methods, and 2 pool sizes were evaluated. Each pooled sample contained 1 infected sample and 4 or 9 uninfected samples.

Results—Sensitivity of detection of M paratuberculosis was greater with smaller pool size (5 vs 10 samples/ pool). Detection sensitivity was also associated with concentration of bacteria in the infected sample. Results indicated that, compared with concurrent bacterial culture of individual infected samples, 37 to 44% of pooled samples with low bacterial concentrations yielded positive culture results and 94% of pooled samples with high bacterial concentrations yielded positive results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples may provide a valid and cost-effective method of detecting M paratuberculosis infection in cattle herds. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1207–1211)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the association between fecal excretion of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) by dairy cows in the periparturient period and detection of MAP DNA in colostrum specimens and on teat skin surfaces.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—112 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Fecal specimens were collected within 48 to 72 hours prior to parturition, and colostrum and teat swab specimens were collected immediately after parturition. Detection of MAP in fecal specimens was performed via microbial culture, and detection of MAP DNA in colostrum and teat swab specimens was achieved via a PCR assay targeting the genetic element ISMAP02. Logistic regression was used to model the relationship between MAP fecal shedding status and detection of MAP DNA in colostrum or teat swab specimens. Population attributable fractions for the proportion of colostrum and teat swab specimens containing MAP DNA were also calculated.

Results—The odds of detecting MAP DNA in colostrum or teat swab specimens in cows with MAP-positive (vs negative) fecal specimens were 2.02 and 1.87 respectively. Population attributable fractions estimates suggested that withholding colostrum from MAP-positive cows could reduce the odds of exposing calves to MAP in colostrum by 18.2%. Not permitting natural suckling by calves could reduce the odds of exposing calves to MAP on the teat surfaces of MAP-positive cows by 19.5%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results underscored the need for strict adherence to practices that limit contact of calves with adult cows from the time of birth and promote hygienic colostrum handling to avoid possible contamination with MAP during colostrum harvest, storage, or feeding.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the risk of interactions that may lead to the transmission of Mycobacterium bovis between cattle and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on farms in northern Minnesota.

Sample—53 cattle farms in northwestern Minnesota adjacent to an area where bovine tuberculosis-infected cattle and deer were detected.

Procedures—A semiquantitative deer-cattle interaction assessment tool was used for the 53 cattle herds. Farm risk scores were analyzed on the basis of deer damage to stored feed.

Results—27 (51%) farms reported deer damage to stored cattle feeds within the year previous to the farm visit. A strong association was found between increases in the percentage of land that could serve as deer cover and deer damage to stored feeds on a farm. The total risk score was significantly associated with the probability of a farm having deer damage. By use of a logistic regression model, the total risk score and proportion of nonagricultural land around a farm could be used to predict the likelihood of deer damage to stored feeds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Management practices on many farms in northwestern Minnesota allowed potential deer-cattle interactions. The on-farm risk assessment tool served as a valuable tool for prioritizing the biosecurity risks for farms. Continued development of biosecurity is needed to prevent potential transmission of bovine tuberculosis between deer and cattle, especially on farms that have a higher risk of deer damage.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate progress made by cattle herds in the control of paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) through participation in the Minnesota Johne's Disease Control Program (MNJDCP).

Design—Retrospective records analysis.

Sample Population—Data for dairy and beef herds participating in the MNJDCP.

Procedures—Data for the MNJDCP were collected for analyses. Outcome measures included changes in numbers of participating cattle producers, risk assessment scores, and within-herd seroprevalence of Johne's disease by year of program participation.

Results—Results revealed steady increases in program participation by cattle producers in Minnesota over time, with > 30% of dairy producers and 2% of beef producers in the state participating by the end of 2006. Despite risk of introduction of Johne's disease to cattle herds through continued introduction of cattle from other herds, dairy and beef herds in the Management Program of the MNJDCP reduced their on-farm risk assessment scores during the program. Dairy herds in the Management Program reduced their mean within-herd seroprevalence 1.1% during the first year, 2.6% during the first 2 years, and 4.0% during the first 3 years of program participation. Significant within-herd seroprevalence reduction was also detected for beef herds that participated in the Management Program for at least 3 years.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study revealed a reduction in the risk of withinherd transmission of Johne's disease and seroprevalence over time in dairy and beef herds in the Management Program of the MNJDCP. This is consistent with a positive effect of the program for the control of Johne's disease in cattle.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objectives—To determine the sensitivity of bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples in detecting Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, compared with bacteriologic culture of individual fecal samples in dairy cattle herds.

Study Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—24 dairy cattle herds.

Procedure—Individual and pooled fecal samples were submitted for bacteriologic culture, and results were compared between these groups.

Results—Ninety-four and 88% of pooled fecal samples that contained feces from at least 1 animal with high (mean, ≥ 50 colonies/tube) and moderate (mean, 10 to 49 colonies/tube) concentrations of M paratuberculosis, respectively, were identified by use of bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples. Prevalences of paratuberculosis determined by bacteriologic culture of pooled and individual fecal samples were highly correlated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples provided a valid and cost-effective method for the detection of M paratuberculosis infection in dairy cattle herds and can be used to estimate prevalence of infection within a herd. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1022–1025)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate longevity, milk production, and breeding performance in adult Holstein cows fed either a plasma-derived commercial colostrum replacer (CR) or raw bovine maternal colostrum (MC) at birth.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—497 heifer calves born in 12 commercial dairies located in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Procedures—All calves were separated from their dams within 30 to 60 minutes after birth and systematically assigned to be fed either MC (control group [n = 261 calves]) or CR (treatment group [236]). Calves were observed from birth up to adulthood (approx 54 months old), during which time death and culling events plus milk yield and breeding performance data were collected. Time to death, time to culling, time to death or culling combined, time to first calving, and time to conception intervals were evaluated by use of proportional hazards survival analysis models. Number of times inseminated per conception and lifetime milk yield (up to 54 months old) were evaluated by use of general linear models.

Results—Cows fed CR as calves at the time of birth were no different than cows fed MC as calves with respect to overall risk of death, culling, or death or culling combined (from birth to 54 months of follow-up and from first calving to 54 months old); lifetime milk yield; and breeding performance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—No difference was detected in overall risk of death or culling, milk production, or reproductive performance between cows fed CR and those fed MC as calves at birth.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the risk of subclinical Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) infection in cows that ingested MAP DNA–positive raw colostrum as calves, compared with risk in cows that ingested MAP DNA–negative raw colostrum as calves.

Animals—205 calves born in 12 commercial dairy herds.

Procedures—Each calf was separated from its dam within 30 to 60 minutes after birth and fed raw colostrum. For each calf, samples of the colostrum fed were collected and tested for the presence of MAP DNA by use of a nested PCR assay for the target gene ISMAP02. Calves fed colostrum positive or negative for MAP DNA were classified into exposed (n = 69) and unexposed (136) groups, respectively. Each calf was tested for MAP infection at 30, 42, and 54 months of age by use of a serum ELISA and bacterial culture of feces. Weibull hazard regression models were used to evaluate the association between exposure to MAP DNA–positive colostrum and time to testing positive for MAP infection.

Results—Hazard of MAP infection was not different between groups (exposed vs unexposed) when serum ELISA, bacterial culture of feces, or both diagnostic tests (parallel interpretation) were positive.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Heifer calves fed MAP DNA–positive colostrum were at no greater risk of MAP infection, compared with heifer calves fed MAP DNA–negative colostrum. This result contradicts findings from other studies and should be interpreted with caution.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of delayed exposure of dairy cattle to Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) on the incidence of those cows testing positive for MAP and developing clinical Johne's disease (CJD).

Animals—79 cows not exposed to MAP as calves (unexposed cohort) and 260 cows exposed to MAP as calves (exposed cohort).

Procedures—Cows in the unexposed cohort were born into 5 MAP-uninfected herds and introduced at various ages into 5 MAP-infected herds where the exposed cohort cows were born and raised. Beginning when each cow was 24 months old, fecal and serum samples were collected annually from 2003 through 2006. Feces were cultured for MAP, and an ELISA was used to analyze serum samples for antibodies against MAP. Date and reason for culling were obtained from herd records. Incidence of positive culture and ELISA results and CJD was compared between unexposed and exposed cohort cows with Cox regression.

Results—Compared with exposed cohort cows, the hazard ratios for unexposed cohort cows having positive culture results, having positive ELISA results, and developing CJD were 0.12, 0.03, and 0.001, respectively, and those ratios increased by 2%, 6%, and 17%, respectively, for each month spent in an MAP-infected herd.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Delayed exposure of cows to MAP resulted in lower incidences of positive culture and ELISA results and CJD in those cows, compared with incidences of cows exposed to MAP since birth. The hazard of testing positive for MAP or developing CJD increased with time, regardless of cohort.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research