Herd Prevalence Estimation of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis Burden in the Three Main Dairy Production Regions of Germany (PraeMAP)
Niedersächsische Tierseuchenkasse, Anstalt des öffentlichen Rechts, 30169 Hanover, Germany
Department of Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training for Health at the Human-Animal-Environment Interface, University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hanover, Germany
Bavarian Animal Health Service, 85586 Poing, Germany
Thüringer Tierseuchenkasse, Anstalt des Öffentlichen Rechts, 07745 Jena, Germany
Klinikum Veterinärmedizin, Klinik für Geburtshilfe, Gynäkologie und Andrologie der Groß- und Kleintiere mit Tierärztlicher Ambulanz, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Søren Nielsen and Alfonso Zecconi
Received: 24 December 2021
Revised: 9 February 2022
Accepted: 10 February 2022
Published: 12 February 2022
Paratuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP), is widely spread among ruminants worldwide. After a long-lasting incubation period, infected animals suffer from chronic granulomatous enteritis. Economic losses are caused by premature culling, reduced milk yield and slaughter value in the dairy and beef industry, triggering attempts to control the disease. Paratuberculosis is a listed disease (category E), according to the European Animal Health Law, and intended to be monitored within the European Union. Evaluation of several herd-level monitoring approaches including the testing of environmental fecal samples to detect the infectious agent have been evaluated, proving environmental sampling to be a useful monitoring tool on herd level. This study comprises the application of environmental sampling within a herd prevalence estimation study in German dairy herds. Based on regional differences in the structure of livestock farming, Germany was divided into three regions where a representative number of farms were visited for sample collection. The results clearly indicate a different regional MAP herd level prevalence. The highest percentage of affected herds is found in the eastern part with large dairy herds, and the lowest in the south with the smallest average herd size. We conclude that the regional differences in MAP prevalence imply different approaches to control the disease.