The Effect of Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis Infection on the Productivity of Cows in Two Dairy Herds with a Low Seroprevalence of Paratuberculosis

Animals (Basel). 2020 Mar 15;10(3):490. doi: 10.3390/ani10030490.


Paratuberculosis is a chronic, progressive enteritis of ruminants, caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. It affects the productivity of infected dairy cows, causing a reduction in the daily milk yield and basic milk components. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis on the productivity of dairy cows in two herds. The research materials were serum and milk samples taken from cows from two naturally infected dairy herds. All serum samples were serologically tested using the Mycobacterium paratuberculosis Antibody ELISA Kit by IDEXX-Screening and Verification. Seroprevalence differed between the herds (5.7% and 11.3%). Seroprevalence varied also between the groups of lactation. The highest seroprevalence was found in the first lactation group in both herds. The milk yield evaluation and analysis of the basic milk components' content (protein and fat total solids) were tested once a month during one lactation period. The content of the basic milk components varied depending on the lactation group, as well as the serological status of the cows. A decrease in milk yield was observed in cows in herds with a higher seroprevalence (>11%). The largest decrease in milk yield and basic milk components was observed in older animals (>three lactations).

Keywords: Mycobacterium paratuberculosis; milk composition; milk yield; paratuberculosis.