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Vet Microbiol. 2003 Mar 20;92(1-2):135-43.

Detection by immunomagnetic PCR of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in milk from dairy goats in Norway.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute, Post Box 8156, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.


Milk samples from 340 individual goats in 34 dairy herds throughout Norway were examined for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (M.a. paratuberculosis) by culture and immunomagnetic separation combined with PCR (IMS-PCR). The samples included three categories; (A) vaccinated dairy goats in herds with paratuberculosis; (B) vaccinated dairy goats in herds with no history of paratuberculosis; (C) unvaccinated goats in herds with no history of paratuberculosis. Viable M.a. paratuberculosis were not detected by culture in any sample, but 24 samples (7.1%) tested positive by IMS-PCR when the PCR products were visualised by dot blot hybridisation. PCR products from five milk samples originating from five different herds were sequenced; all showed 99% homology with the IS900 sequence from M.a. paratuberculosis.M.a. paratuberculosis were detected in all sampled categories. The percentage of IMS-PCR positive samples from herds where paratuberculosis had previously been reported was significantly lower than from herds where the infection had never been diagnosed (3.3 and 9.1%, respectively, P=0.048). Similar proportions of milk samples from vaccinated and non-vaccinated goats tested positive for the presence of M.a. paratuberculosis. Vaccinated goats older than 4 years tested positive more often than vaccinated animals less than 2 years old. Samples collected in May tested significantly more often positive than milk sampled during February-March (13.8 and 2.9%, respectively, P=0.001). This study showed that raw goats' milk in Norway might be contaminated with M.a. paratuberculosis.

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