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Management practices associated with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection and the effects of the infection on dairy herds
  1. F. J. Diéguez, DVM1,
  2. I. Arnaiz, DVM, PhD2,
  3. M. L. Sanjuán, DVM, PhD1,
  4. M. J. Vilar, DVM1 and
  5. E. Yus, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Epidemiology and Animal Health Unit, Institute of Food Analysis and Research, Santiago de Compostela University, Campus Universitaro s/n, 27002 Lugo, Spain
  2. 2 Animal Health and Production Laboratory of Galicia, Avenida Madrid 77, 27002 Lugo, Spain

Abstract

During 2004, a survey of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (map) was conducted in 101 randomly selected dairy herds to investigate associations between the infection status of the herds, different management practices, and possible disease indicators, such as indices of mastitis and reproductive performance. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire through personal interviews with the farmers and veterinarians in charge of each farm. At the same time, blood samples were taken from cattle over one year old and analysed with a commercial elisa to detect antibodies to map. Statistical analyses indicated that the following management practices constituted major risk factors: utilisation of colostrum from cows with a previous positive map diagnosis, and housing replacement calves with adult cattle before they were six months old. Seropositivity to map was related to the herds' bulk tank somatic cell counts and incidence of clinical mastitis, but not to their reproductive performance.

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