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J Dairy Sci. 2001 Feb;84(2):524-7.

On-farm batch pasteurization destroys Mycobacterium paratuberculosis in waste milk.

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USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


A recent dairy survey conducted in 1996 by the National Animal Health Monitoring System suggests between 20 and 40% of dairy herds in the United States have some level of Johne's disease. This figure will continue to increase unless producers implement management regimes that will help control the spread of this disease within their herds. The neonatal calf is the target for infection with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, the causative agent of Johne's disease. Calves become infected via exposure to the bacterium through contaminated feces, bedding, colostrum, and milk. Shedding of viable M. paratuberculosis has been documented in the colostrum and milk of infected dams. This study evaluated the efficacy of on-farm pasteurization to destroy M. paratuberculosis in waste milk fed to calves to circumvent this mode of transmission. In three replicate experiments, waste milk was experimentally inoculated with M. paratuberculosis and heated at 65.5 degrees C for 30 min. No viable bacteria were recovered after 28 wk of incubation. These results suggest that batch pasteurization of waste milk contaminated with M. paratuberculosis was effective at generating a clean product to feed to young calves.

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