Cost-effectiveness of diagnostic strategies to identify Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis super-shedder cows in a large dairy herd using antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and bacterial culture

Sharif S Aly, Randall J. Anderson, Robert H. Whitlock, Terry L. Fyock, Susan C. McAdams, Todd M. Byrem, Jiming Jiang, John M Adaska, Ian Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diagnostic strategies to detect Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) super-shedder cows in dairy herds have been minimally studied. The objective of the current study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of strategies for identification of MAP super-shedders on a California dairy herd of 3,577 cows housed in free-stall pens. Eleven strategies that included serum or milk enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) or culture of environmental samples, pooled or individual cow fecal samples, or combinations thereof were compared. Nineteen super-shedders (0.5%) were identified by qPCR and confirmed by culture as cows shedding ≥10,000 colony forming units (CFU)/g feces (median of 30,000 CFU/g feces). A stratified random sample of the study herd based on qPCR results of fecal pools was the most sensitive (74%) strategy and had the highest cost ($5,398/super-shedder). The reference strategy with the lowest cost ($1,230/super-shedder) and sensitivity (47%) included qPCR testing of fecal samples from ELISA-positive lactating (milk) and nonlactating (serum) cows housed in pens with the highest MAP bioburden. The most cost-effective alternative to the reference was to perform qPCR testing of fecal samples from ELISA-positive cows (milk and serum for milking and dry cows, respectively) for a sensitivity of 68% and cost of $2,226/super-shedder. In conclusion, diagnostic strategies varied in their cost-effectiveness depending on the tests, specimen type, and labor costs. Initial qPCR testing of environmental samples from free-stall pens to target cows in pens with the highest MAP bioburden for further testing can improve the cost-effectiveness of strategies for super-shedder identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-832
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • diagnostic strategies
  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • super-shedders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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