An outbreak of Johne's disease in a herd of farmed red deer was studied for four years. Serological, histopathological and cultural techniques were used to monitor the progress of the disease, and delayed type hypersensitivity skin tests were also applied. The results of the serological tests showed that they were poor predictors of future clinical cases and did not consistently identify animals harbouring mycobacteria. The histopathological methods provided a sensitive and specific means of confirming the infection. The skin tests had a low sensitivity and the results were poorly correlated with the serological results in seropositive animals. A vaccination policy was instituted which was accompanied by a change in the pattern of disease. Although the histopathological evidence suggested that the infection was still occurring, there was a marked reduction in the incidence of clinical disease. Vaccinated animals showed a good response to the skin test.
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