Johne’s disease: a successful eradication programme in a dairy goat herd

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Abstract

This retrospective analysis and report describes the successful eradication and posteradication surveillance programme for Johne’s disease (Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP)) in a closed herd of dairy goats. In 1994, MAP’s presence in the goat herd was first suspected through individual annual serological screening and then subsequently confirmed through faecal culture and histopathology in 1997 when implementation of a more aggressive programme of testing and eradication of the diseased animals began. This programme included frequent serological screening of all adult goats using ELISA and agar gel immunodiffusion assays. Faecal cultures for bacteria were performed on suspect or positive animals and for all goats found dead or euthanased, and tissues were submitted for histopathology and acid-fast staining. Additional disease eradication measures included maintaining a closed herd and minimising faecal-oral transmission of MAP. Following a more aggressive testing regimen and euthanasia of goats with positive faecal culture, the herd was first considered free of MAP in 2003 and has remained free to the present day.

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