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Am J Vet Res. 1992 Apr;53(4):477-80.

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis isolated from fetuses of infected cows not manifesting signs of the disease.

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Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Kennett Square 19348.


Fetuses were obtained from 58 cows that were fecal culture-positive for Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, but were not manifesting signs of paratuberculosis. Fetal tissues from 5 of 58 cows were culture-positive for M paratuberculosis. All 5 culture-positive fetuses were from cows that were classified as heavy fecal shedders (5/28; 17.8%). Difference in prevalence of fetal infection between light (less than 70 colonies/tube) and heavy fecal shedders was significant (Fisher's exact test, P less than 0.05). Association was not evident between serologic status of the dam and prevalence of fetal infection. In infected cows without signs of paratuberculosis, fetal infection develops with lower frequency than previously reported for cows with clinical signs of the disease. In this study, fetal infection was found only in cows that were heavy fecal shedders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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