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Vet Microbiol. 2013 Feb 22;162(1):160-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.08.026. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Quantitative real-time PCR and culture examination of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis at farm level.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture Science, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.


Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne's disease in ruminants and may contribute to Crohn's disease in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence and quantity of MAP in cattle feces and milk in the Iranian context. In addition, we evaluated the effect of cattle age as well as farming system as risk factors contributing to MAP load. For this, a total sample of 373 consisting of 150 cattle feces (CF), 150 individual cow's milk (ICM), as well as 73 bulk-tank milk (BTM) was collected randomly and regardless of the cattle health status. The samples were assayed using F57 quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and culture method. According to the results of qPCR which was found ≈ 10 times more sensitive than culture assay, MAP was detected in 68.66% (103/150) of the CF, 12% (18/150) of the ICM and 52.05% (38/73) of the BTM samples. In contrast to the previous reports, the quantity of MAP in the BTM (2.03-5.97 log cfu/50 ml) was statistically (p<0.01) higher than the ICM (0.90-1.97 log cfu/50 ml). Data suggested a direct relation (p<0.01) between the cattle age and the quantity of MAP in the CF samples, while the relation was not statistically significant (p>0.05) for the ICM. In addition, MAP load in the BTM samples obtained from traditional farms was significantly (p<0.01) higher than that of the industrial ones, while the differences in CF and ICM was not significant (p>0.05).

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