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Elucidating Transmission Patterns of Endemic Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Using Molecular Epidemiology

1
Emory University Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, 400 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2
Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, Cornell University, 618 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3
Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 507 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
4
Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Radix Building, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
5
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, and Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
6
Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
7
College of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
8
GD Animal Health, 7400 AA Deventer, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Vet. Sci. 2019, 6(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci6010032
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycobacterial Diseases in Animals)
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Abstract

Mycobacterial diseases are persistent and characterized by lengthy latent periods. Thus, epidemiological models require careful delineation of transmission routes. Understanding transmission routes will improve the quality and success of control programs. We aimed to study the infection dynamics of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), the causal agent of ruminant Johne’s disease, and to distinguish within-host mutation from individual transmission events in a longitudinally MAP-defined dairy herd in upstate New York. To this end, semi-annual fecal samples were obtained from a single dairy herd over the course of seven years, in addition to tissue samples from a selection of culled animals. All samples were cultured for MAP, and multi-locus short-sequence repeat (MLSSR) typing was used to determine MAP SSR types. We concluded from these precise MAP infection data that, when the tissue burden remains low, the majority of MAP infections are not detectable by routine fecal culture but will be identified when tissue culture is performed after slaughter. Additionally, we determined that in this herd vertical infection played only a minor role in MAP transmission. By means of extensive and precise longitudinal data from a single dairy herd, we have come to new insights regarding MAP co-infections and within-host evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP); mycobacterial co-infections; MLSSR typing; mutation rate; within-host evolution; vertical transmission Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP); mycobacterial co-infections; MLSSR typing; mutation rate; within-host evolution; vertical transmission
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mitchell, R.M.; Beaver, A.; Knupfer, E.; Pradhan, A.K.; Fyock, T.; Whitlock, R.H.; Schukken, Y.H. Elucidating Transmission Patterns of Endemic Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Using Molecular Epidemiology. Vet. Sci. 2019, 6, 32.

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