Evaluation of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis infection of dairy cows attributable to infection status of the dam

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Objective - To estimate the extent to which infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) of cows in a large dairy was attributable to the infection status of their dams. Design - Retrospective longitudinal study. Animals - 625 dam-daughter pairs of Holstein cows. Procedure - Serologie test results were compared between cows and their dams. Logistic regression was used to assess whether a cow's serologic status was associated with its dam's serologic status. Infection with MAP attributable to being born to a seropositive dam was estimated for individual cows and for the herd. Results - Cows with seropositive dams were 6.6 times as likely to be seropositive, compared with cows of seronegative dams. For seropositive cows born to seropositive dams, 84.6% of seropositivity was attributable to being born to a seropositive dam and 15.4% to other exposures, including exposure as calves to flush water that contained feces of adult cattle. For the herd as a whole, the seropositive status in 34% of seropositive cows was attributable to being born to a seropositive dam. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - For dairy herds that breed seropositive cows, subsequent transmission of MAP to their daughters, either congenitally or via exposure to feces and colostrum of the dam shortly after birth, can contribute substantially to maintaining prevalence of MAP in a herd. Removal of seropositive, clinically unaffected cows and their daughters would be necessary to reduce infection with MAP attributable to congenital or periparturient transmission from dam to daughter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-454
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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