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Johne’s disease in Canada: Part I: Clinical symptoms, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and prevalence in dairy herds

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Publication Date
  • Scientific
  • Medicine


Recent international developments in the area of infectious disease control and nontariff trade barriers, along with possible zoonotic concerns, have provoked a revival of interest in Johne’s disease in Canada and elsewhere. The bacterium causing Johne’s disease, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, is distributed worldwide and causes chronic granulomatous enteritis, also known as paratuberculosis, in domestic and exotic ruminants, including cattle. The subclinical form of this disease results in progressive weight loss, reduced milk production, lower slaughter value, and premature culling, with possible impacts on fertility and udder health. Eventually, infection can lead to the clinical form that manifests as chronic diarrhea, emaciation, debilitation, and eventual death. Currently, available tests to detect infected animals produce many false-negative results and some false-positives, particularly in subclinically infected animals, thus making their interpretation and utilization challenging in control programs.

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