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Open AccessArticle

Australian Veterinarians’ Perceptions Regarding the Zoonotic Potential of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, 425 Werombi Road, Camden, NSW 2570, Australia
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Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7010033
Received: 17 February 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycobacterial Diseases in Animals)
Public concerns over exposure to Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) or MAP components via foods of animal origin could have negative trade consequences, despite the absence of conclusive scientific evidence of a causal association between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and Crohn’s disease (CD). This study was conducted among Australian veterinarians to understand (a) their perceptions regarding the role of MAP in the causation of CD (an ordinal outcome), and (b) their consideration of the adoption of the precautionary principle against Johne’s disease (JD; a binary outcome). Ordinal and binary logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association of explanatory variables with the above outcomes, respectively. Almost one-third of the respondents (32.2%) considered that MAP was likely to be involved in the causation of CD whereas more than two-thirds (69.8%) agreed with the adoption of the precautionary principle against JD. Veterinarians who were concerned about exposure to and/or getting infected with MAP were more likely to consider MAP as a causative agent of CD (odds ratio: 7.63; 95% CI: 1.55, 37.63) and favor the adoption of the precautionary principle against JD (odds ratio: 6.20; 95% CI: 1.90, 20.25). Those perceiving MAP as a causative agent of CD were also more likely to favor the adoption of the precautionary principle against JD (odds ratio: 13.2; 95% CI: 1.26, 138.90). The results suggest that Australian veterinarians, particularly those who consider MAP as a causative agent of CD are concerned about exposure to MAP and favor the adoption of the precautionary principle against JD. These findings can be useful for animal health authorities for designing JD control programs and policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; perception; Australia; veterinarians; zoonotic disease; precautionary principle Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; perception; Australia; veterinarians; zoonotic disease; precautionary principle
MDPI and ACS Style

Acharya, K.R.; Plain, K.M.; Whittington, R.J.; Dhand, N.K. Australian Veterinarians’ Perceptions Regarding the Zoonotic Potential of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis. Vet. Sci. 2020, 7, 33.

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