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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1999 Mar 15;214(6):822-5.

Herd-level economic analysis of the impact of paratuberculosis on dairy herds.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Population Medicine Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48823, USA.



To perform a herd-level analysis of economic losses associated with paratuberculosis in dairy herds.


Cross-sectional study.


A multistage stratified random sample of 121 dairy herds in Michigan.


A 2-part questionnaire was used to gather data on management practices, herd productivity, labor use, and expenditures. Blood samples were collected from a random sample of cows > or = 2 years old in each herd and tested for antibodies to Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. A herd was considered negative for paratuberculosis if results for all cows tested were negative. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the data.


A 10% increase in proportion of cows positive for paratuberculosis was associated with a 33.4 kg (73.5 lb) decrease in mean weight of culled cows. Mortality rate among herds positive for paratuberculosis was 3% higher than rate among herds negative for paratuberculosis. Herds positive for paratuberculosis did not have a significantly higher annual number of hours of labor per cow than did herds negative for paratuberculosis.


For a herd of average size and cull rate, the reduction in mean weight of culled cows attributable to paratuberculosis represented a loss of approximately $1,150 annually for each 10% increase in herd prevalence of paratuberculosis. The increased mortality rate attributable to paratuberculosis represented a loss of between $1,607 and $4,400 on the basis of lost slaughter value and cost of replacement heifers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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