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JOHNE'S INFORMATION CENTER - University of Wisconsin Ñ School of Veterinary Medicine

Monday, October 1, 2018
Japan tackles bovine MAP infections.

Japanese researchers reported a modelling study to define when cattle shed MAP in feces in comparison to when cattle become positive for antibodies in serum. This work was published n the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine 149:38-46, January, 2018 (PMID: 29290299). These researchers collected test results over a 16 year period on cattle in the Hokkaido Prefecture where almost one-half of dairy cattle in Japan are located: 1,386 farms housing 222,482 cattle. The study reports fecal shedding begins as early as 12 months of age and serum antibody is detected on average 7 months later. Researchers concerned with diagnostic tests for MAP infection in dairy cattle will find this article of special interest. The PubMed link is below.

Non-specialists will find the following excerpt from the introduction of that research article of interest as it describes the situation regarding paratuberculosis in Japan.

“In Japan, the first case of Johne’s disease was reported in an imported dairy cow that died in 1927. As Johne’s disease became endemic across the country, it was added to the list of reportable animal diseases in the Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control Law in 1971. Subsequently, cattle found infected with MAP were subjected to compulsory destruction with compensation. In addition, national serological surveillance targeting MAP infection in cattle started in 1998 as a compulsory program enforced by law (see Kobayayashi, Japan J. Vet. Med. Sci. 69:1255, 2007). The national active surveillance program consists of two components: serological regular surveillance (RS) and follow-up surveillance (FS) for farms in which MAP infection is detected. In RS, animals older that 24 months of age in all target farms are serologically tested at intervals of less than five years. When an infected animal is detected in RS, FS is conducted in those farms. In FS, blood and fecal samples re collected from all cattle older than 6 months of age for fecal and antibody tests performed at least five times within a three year period. Affected farms regain free status if no additional cases are found in these tests. In addition, as a passive surveillance, all clinically suspected cattle are tested as in FS. Since the beginning of the program, almost 500,000 cattle have been tested annually nationwide and the total number of infected animals have been approximately 1,000 per year.”

Comment: Japan has one of the most aggressive Johne’s disease control programs in the world. If the Japanese succeed in eradicating paratuberculosis from their country the pressure on international trading partners to certify that animals and animal-products do not harbor MAP will heighten significantly.

PubMed abstract