Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is endemic in the Dutch dairy goat population causing economic loss, and negatively influencing welfare. Moreover, there are concerns about a potential zoonotic risk. Therefore the industry’s objectives are to decrease MAP prevalence, limit economic losses as well as reduce the concentration of MAP in (bulk) milk. To diminish within-farm spread of infection, vaccination, age dependent group housing with separation of newborns from adults, as well as rearing on artificial or treated colostrum and milk replacers are implemented. However, the importance of MAP contaminated colostrum and milk as a route of infection in dairy goat herds is unknown. Therefore the aim of this study was to detect the presence of MAP DNA in colostrum and milk from dairy goats in infected herds. A convenience sample of 120 colostrum samples and 202 milk samples from MAP infected dairy goat herds were tested by IS900 real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for MAP DNA. Furthermore, 22 colostrum samples and 27 post mortem milk samples of goats with clinical signs consistent with paratuberculosis from known infected herds were tested. The majority of samples were from goats vaccinated against MAP. Positive or doubtful PCR results were obtained in none of the 120 and two of the 22 colostrum samples, and in eight of the 202 and four of the 27 milk samples Negative PCR results were obtained in the remaining 140 (99%) colostrum samples and 217 (95%) milk samples.
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