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J Dairy Sci. 2007 Aug;90(8):3590-5.

Prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in Swiss raw milk cheeses collected at the retail level.

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Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 272, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


A total of 143 raw milk cheese samples (soft cheese, n = 9; semihard cheese, n = 133; hard cheese, n = 1), collected at the retail level throughout Switzerland, were tested for Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) by immunomagnetic capture plus culture on 7H10-PANTA medium and in supplemented BAC-TEC 12B medium, as well as by an F57-based real-time PCR system. Furthermore, pH and water activity values were determined for each sample. Although no viable MAP cells could be cultured, 4.2% of the raw milk cheese samples tested positive with the F57-based real-time PCR system, providing evidence for the presence of MAP in the raw material. As long as the link between MAP and Crohn's disease in humans remains unclear, measures designed to minimize public exposure should also include a focus on milk products.

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