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Paratuberculosis in dairy goat flocks from southern Spain: risk factors associated with seroprevalence
  1. Belén Barrero-Domínguez1,
  2. Inmaculada Luque1,
  3. Belen Huerta1,
  4. Jaime Gomez-Laguna2,
  5. Ángela Galán-Relaño1,
  6. Lidia Gómez-Gascón1,
  7. Manuel Sánchez3 and
  8. Rafael Jesus Astorga1
  1. 1 Animal Health Department, University of Cordoba Faculty of Veterinary, Cordoba, Spain
  2. 2 Anatomy and Comparative Pathology Department, University of Cordoba Faculty of Veterinary, Cordoba, Spain
  3. 3 Animal Production Department, University of Cordoba Faculty of Veterinary, Cordoba, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Belén Barrero-Domínguez; belen.barrero.89{at}


Background Paratuberculosis (PTB) is a chronic, enteric wasting disease of ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), with a worldwide distribution. Andalusia, located in southern Spain, is one of the European regions with the highest goat census and the highest milk production; however, current data on the prevalence of MAP in this species are not available.

Methods A cross-sectional study was performed to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with PTB in dairy goat flocks from southern Spain. A total of 3312 serum samples were collected from 48 flocks located in three different geographical areas. Health and productive parameters were surveyed during the visit to the herds.

Results A total of 511 goats were seropositive, with overall true seroprevalence of 22.54 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval (CI95) 21.12–23.97). Of the goat herds, 87.50 per cent (CI9578.14–96.98) were seropositive. The intraherd seroprevalence was 25.43±31.71, distributed as follows: 22 flocks with a seroprevalence under 10 per cent; 18 flocks between 10 per cent and 50 per cent; and eight flocks with a frequency over 50 per cent. Multivariate logistic regression showed significant association between PTB seropositivity and the following variables: intensive production system, lack of management by batches, inappropriate ventilation and seropositivity to c aprine a rthritis e ncephalitis v irus ( CAEV ).

Conclusions The results indicate a widespread PTB infection in goat herds in southern Spain. Thus, control programmes must include management and sanitary measures to reduce the prevalence. Further experimental studies are necessary to determine the influence of CAEV-PTB coinfection on immune status.

  • Paratuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium aviumsubsp.paratuberculosis
  • seroprevalence
  • risk factors
  • goat
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  • Funding This study has been financed by the CAPRITEC project: ‘Technologies for Optimization of Health, Production and Milk Products of Goats in Andalusia’ (FEDER-INNTERCONECTA 2013, Ref ITC-20131070, CDTI), and was carried out thanks to CABRAMA, COVAP and ACRIFLOR goat associations, and CICAP - Food Research Centre (Spain). JG-L is supported by a 'Ramón y Cajal' contract from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (RyC-2014-16735).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article. Data are available upon request.

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