Use of environmental testing to identify high risk areas for Johne's disease transmission on cow-calf operations
Keywords:Johne's disease, beef industry, cow-calf operations, environmental testing strategy, environment, disease control
The majority of research related to testing and control strategies for decreasing the incidence of Johne's disease has been focused on the dairy industry with little focus on the beef industry. Because of the very different management styles for calf rearing and housing between the 2 industries, there is an urgent need to assess the effectiveness of currently recommended prevention strategies on mitigating the risk of Johne's transmission in beef cow-calf operations. Shedding of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) by infected adult animals into cow-calf housing areas likely poses the highest risk for spread of Johne's disease within beef herds. Therefore, development of an effective environmental testing strategy specifically designed for cow-calf operations that could be used to identify contaminated areas on farm is warranted.