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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2007 Winter;4(4):433-47.

Assessment of the prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in commercially pasteurized milk.

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Ecole Vétérinaire d'Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France.


Conflicting laboratory-acquired data have been published about the heat resistance of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), the cause of the deadly paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) of ruminants. Results of surveys of the presence of MAP in industrially pasteurized milk from several countries are conflicting also. This paper critically reviews the available data on the heat resistance of MAP and, based on these studies, a quantitative model describing the probability of finding MAP in pasteurized milk under the conditions prevailing in industrialized countries was derived using Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation assesses the probability of detecting MAP in 50-mL samples of pasteurized milk as lower than 1%. Hypotheses are presented to explain why higher frequencies were found by some authors; these included improper pasteurization and cross-contamination in the analytical laboratory. Hypotheses implicating a high rate of inter- and intraherd prevalence of paratuberculosis or heavy contamination of raw milk by feces were rejected.

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