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Decreased serum protein associated with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis shedding in German Holstein cows
  1. K. Donat, Dr. med. vet.1,
  2. G. Erhardt, Dr. med. vet., Prof.2,
  3. A. Soschinka, Veterinary Surgeon.1,3 and
  4. H. R. Brandt, apl. Prof. Dr. agr.2
  1. 1Thuringian Animal Diseases Fund, Animal Health Service, Victor-Goerttler-Str. 4, Jena D-07745, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Justus Liebig University, Ludwigstraße 21b, Gießen D-35390, Germany
  3. 3Hagenow Veterinary Practice, Hagenstraße 32, Hagenow D-19230, Germany;
  1. E-mail for correspondence: kdonat{at}


Using well established metabolic parameters, this study aimed to substantiate differences in protein and energy metabolism between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) positive and negative dairy cows tested by faecal culture. A total of 227 MAP-positive and 239 MAP-negative German Holstein cows kept in 13 MAP-positive dairy herds were selected for metabolic testing. The serum concentrations of total protein (TP), bilirubin, cholesterol and betahydroxybutyrate were measured as well as the activities of Glutamate-Dehydrogenase (GLDH) and Aspartate-Aminotransferase. MAP-positive cows were characterised by a decreased mean TP (66.5 g/l) compared to the MAP-negative controls (73.2 g/l). Mean log10 GLDH activities tended to be higher in MAP-positive than MAP-negative cows. Concerning TP, there was a significant interaction between MAP status and farm. Within four farms, the difference between MAP-positive and MAP-negative animals differed significantly, while in the other farms this difference was not significant. It is concluded that a decreased TP and an increased GLDH indicate alterations in protein metabolism. These findings suggest an enhanced liver cell turnover in MAP-positive cows. The results contribute to an understanding of the metabolic alterations in MAP-positive dairy cows.

  • Paratuberculosis
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Dairy cattle
  • hypoproteinaemia
  • protein metabolism
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