Association of Mycobacteriumparatuberculosis infection with reduced mastitis, but with decreased milk productionand increased cull rate in clinically normal dairy cows
American Journal of Veterinary Research
Approximately 45 Holstein cows that were Mycobacterium paratuberculosis-positive on the basis of fecal culture results were maintained at any one time in a 210-cow dairy herd. Farm management participated in the New York State Paratuberculosis Eradication Program. Paratuberculosis-positive cows were grouped separately from paratuberculosis-negative cows, but they were otherwise managed identically. During a 1-year study, 180 paratuberculosis-negative cows and 113 clinically normal paratuberculosis-positive cows were identified. Quarter milk samples (n = 6,100) were aseptically collected for microbiologic culture of mastitis pathogens from paratuberculosis-negative cows, and 3,129 quarter samples were obtained from paratuberculosis-positive cows. Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) records were used to monitor milk somatic cell count linear scores, mature equivalent milk production, new mastitis infections, and chronic mastitis infections. For second-lactation cows greater than 100 days in milk production, and increasing with age beyond that point, paratuberculosis-positive cows had lower mature equivalent milk production than did negative herdmates. Rates of new and chronic mastitis infections, as measured by DHIA linear scores were significantly (P < 0.05, P = 0.05, respectively) lower in cows with nonclinical paratuberculosis. Infected cows were culled from the herd at a faster rate than were paratuberculosis-negative herdmates. Therefore, paratuberculosis was associated with financial loss attributable to reduced milk production and increased culling of infected cows.
Wilson DJ, Rossiter C, Han HR, Sears PM: Association of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection with reduced mastitis, but with decreased milk production and increased cull rate in clinically normal dairy cows. Am J Vet Res 54:11:1851- 1857, 1993.