Paratuberculosis Case Studies

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1. The impact of M. paratuberculosis in dairy cattle is detrimental. The disease can cause severe diarrhea and weight loss, which can inevitably lead to protein losing enteropathy followed by death. Studies have indeed been published, most of them focusing on the economic losses this disease brings to the dairy industry. In the study “Economic impact of paratuberculosis in dairy cattle herds: a review” by L. Hasonova, and I. Pavlik they explore the different health parameters that change due to infection and thus lead to a lower milk yield.

2. M paratuberculosis is excreted in large numbers in feces of infected dairy cattle and in lower numbers in their colostrum and milk. Infection is usually occurs through the fecal-oral route. MAP is resistant
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This disease is likely to have an R0 greater than one. That is because the M. partuberculosis is still very much prevalent in dairy cattle worldwide, and in order for an infectious agent to survive in a group an R0 equal to or greater than one is required. A study done by R. W. Sweeney, R. H. Whitlock and A. E. Rosenberger titled “Mycobacterium paratuberculosis cultured from milk and supramammary lymph nodes of infected asymptomatic cows” published in the Journal of Microbiology supports my conclusion.

4. There are many reported numbers on the duration of shedding of M. paratuberculosis in the literature. Usually once clinical infection occurs the disease is incurable and shedding only ends when the animal dies or is culled. This can be anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. However, there is always the possibility a heard might have subclinically infected animals who are constant shedders. The shedding period for these individuals is unknown.

5. The disease is mostly spread through the fecal-oral route. Calves are at high risk for infection, since resistance to infection increases with age. Infection is acquired by ingestion of the organism when nursing on contaminated teats, consumption of milk, solid feed, or water contaminated with M. paratuberculosis, or licking and grooming behavior in a contaminated environment. (V. Rosseels, K.
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Biosecurity measures necessary to control the spread of M. paratuberculosis are: birthing calves in areas free of manure, removed from the mother immediately after birth in the case of dairy cattle, bottle-fed colostrum that has been pasteurized or obtained from cows that test negative, and then reared segregated as much as possible from adults and their manure until older than1 year. Sending animals testing positive to slaughter as soon as economically feasible. Retesting annually until entire herd tests indicate a low (<5%) infection prevalence. In summary, there are several strategies for paratuberculosis control, but there is no generalized consensus on which one or which combination of strategies should be the standard approach. (F. Bastida, R. A.

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