Successful eradication of Johne’s disease from a large dairy goat herd
Research publication from the journal Veterinary Record. 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 euthanized, 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.
Comment: This study and others, demonstrates that Johne’s disease can be eradicated from goat herds. If it can be done in this herd of over 500 goats, it clearly can be done in small herds. Diagnostics have improved greatly since this herd began their eradication program with ELISA and PCR being today’s best diagnostic tools.